Friday, December 29, 2017

I've been cleaning and decluttering like mad for the past couple of days hoping to get my house in order in time for new years.  I like this sort of thing where comes new year and I try to re-set everything and get my new year resolutions in order and try to fix broken things around the house and do some deep cleaning.  I'd like to think that if you start new year right, the rest of the year good things will follow.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

My Christmas tree this year is in pink, this is pretty much all the Christmas decoration I have, mainly because I don't want to deal with putting them back when the holidays are over.  This tree though, I think it's perfectly fine to keep up until after Valentine's Day since it's all over sparkly and pink!

I'm lucky that the pups have left the tree alone so far, I guess Fie Fie doesn't mind the tree at all! 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

I've wanted an antique centerpiece like this one for years but the prices anywhere was so prohibitive that for a long time it remained on my wish list.  Recently I found one locally that didn't have the glass bowl on top.  I suppose the glass bowl could easily be damaged during a move and if you find a seller that's just downsizing, one can be found for a tiny fraction of the market cost. I paid about two hundred bucks for mine, nothing compared to the going price but still a solid sum for about two weeks of groceries for me.  I borrowed the glass top from another piece but I think the fit is pretty good.  An alternative option might be a glass bowl from an antique bride basket, the fit and shape might fit.  Anyhow, this is the poor girl's version of fancy dining, I will need to serve cup ramen to go with this centerpiece for a while.

The first time I saw one on display was at the Sydney Living Museum blog here. I thought the leaves and deer was so whimsical and unique,  I had never seen anything quite like it!  I sure wish people still dined so elegantly!

Back to my little new found treasure, I love the deer on my piece, it's lovely and has no damage for something that's so old.

I tried it with a pair of candelabras and I actually liked the look.  Now I'm really looking forward to a small dinner party with a few friends!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

With holiday parties abound this month I thought I'd share my favorite custom jewelry piece of the moment.  This vintage flower brooch is a recent find and blooms beautifully at over 6 inches tall.  I wore it to a party last night with a simple black outfit and everyone seemed to love the brooch.

Here's another picture I snapped while in my car when I got to the venue, the rhinestones and pearls have such an amazing sparkle and is incredibly dimensional, it really helped adding some glamour to my otherwise plain Jane outfit.  I love this 1940s idea of a statement brooch, it's so fabulous yet I wonder why this trend has never really caught on.  

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Grey Gardens isn't the type of documentary I would seek out to watch but there's so much subculture of this film that things just keep jumping out at me.  Couple years ago I saw a parody of Grey Gardens by Documentary Now!  It was so funny but shocking and ridiculous at the same time I really didn't get any part of it and I think I barely finished the short episode.

Most recently, I found an amazing youtube channel that did a "fave film fashion" episode on Grey Gardens.  It talked about the fashion style of little Edie, her life beyond the documentary and how in fact she was quite fashion forward. It sort of spurred my interest again so I rented the HBO movie under the same title to see if I can make it through the whole film.  The movie was much easier to watch and made some linear sense to me, but to be honest I thought it was incredibly sad.

Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange were so fabulous in the film.  If you alternate between the actual documentary and the movie, it's a bit hard to tell them apart.  

The documentary itself was the last thing I watched because quite honestly, it was not so easy to watch, kind of like seeing a train wreck that's scary but you can't help but look.  

The squalor state of Grey Gardens reminds me of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations, where time stopped after a certain point and nothing but decay took place.  I suppose if you live with some form of mental illness and then having been taken cared of all your life, when all help is suddenly taken away things could really happen this way.

There is a website selling the exact same replica brooch as the one little Edie famously wore in the documentary, for a pretty hefty price of course.  I find this fashion statement interesting and there must be quite a following of Grey Gardens for someone to make a business out of it.

I did however recently found this vintage brooch that satisfied my Grey Gardens fascination, it's about 4 inches tall and some of the elements reminds me of little Edie's famous brooch in Grey Gardens.  In fact, I think it would look quite good pinned to a scarf.  The wheat shaped leaves and the little bow holding the flower and the rhinestones... it just looked like they could be designed by the same person.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

With winter comes lots of beef stew with carrots and potatoes for the pups' dinner, sometimes I put in herbs too to bring some extra flavor.  Here's a picture of Kelly waiting rather nonchalantly for her dinner.

And... here's a picture of Uggie, having finished all of his food in under 3 seconds, he would hover over Kelly and give her all in all half an inch of personal space just so he could be the first in line to lick her food bowl when she's done eating dinner.  I guess he must have had the best luck with Kelly's bowl because I don't see him do this to Bella or Fie Fie.

Monday, November 27, 2017

These are vintage no name earrings of mine that I personally love.  It's not so easy to find modern custom jewelry that are made with so much intricacy.  They are very delicate and light weight yet bring just a little bit of extra style and completes an outfit.  I feel like an outfit is not complete without earrings so I rarely leave the house in the morning without a good pair.  They dance around my ears and kind of like little parties on their own.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

A few years ago I took some tango classes and really enjoyed getting some good exercise and having extra activity besides my usual boring work and home routine.  Unfortunately things got busy and I stopped going, now that year end is coming up I'm very routinely started a new year resolution list and I think I would like to get back into tango classes.

My favorite tango shoes are these red pair made by Arika Nerguiz, I had to go to a dance shoe store in LA to try on in order to find the correct size.  They have suede sole and only suitable for indoor dance practice and the price stopped me from buying more than one pair even though there were so many beautiful options.  

Recently though I just discovered that Arika Nerguiz made hard sole shoes that would be appropriate for street wear as well as dancing, in my opinion they are truly the best shoes that one can find in the market place, if anyone that knows how to make shoes, that would be dance shoe makers!  I think hard sole dance shoes are perfectly acceptable for street wear, now I just need to start saving...

Friday, November 24, 2017

I made no plans for Thanks Giving this year, a couple friends invited me over but I thought I would just laid back and relax, but at the last minute I decided to cook anyway since all the holiday special ingredients were for sale at the store and looked so tempting.  Every year I like to do something a little different, this year I tried to make a butter herb mix to coat and stuff the turkey, the aroma turned out quite lovely.

I don't use anything like onion or wine to prepare the turkey because I wanted to share the left overs with my pups, it would be a shame to make something so delicious and then just to have the doggies stare at it.  They knew it was some sort of a special occasion too, eagerly waited by the kitchen to see what comes of all the cooking.

I'm a rather slow cook and to make a complete Thanks Giving meal takes me about four hours, from prepping and roasting the turkey to making cranberry sauce, stuffing and gravy, but after a few years of practice a lot of the dishes became quite easy.  The pups really benefited from the turkey this year, I gave them a few pieces with each meal and they seem to love it! 

One of the dish I've made without fail every year is the cranberry sauce.  It's an easy enough dish and homemade ones always seem to taste better than the store bought type so I always make it.  If I visit friends then they look forward for me to bring it.  I like to present the sauce in lovely antique sauce tureen and this year I used my blue and white sauce tureen to make a prettier presentation.

So much to be thankful for when I put things in perspective.  For one I am not sitting in movie theaters during holidays like I often did in my 20s staving off hunger on pop corn.  There is immense happiness being able to sip coffee, play an old movie and cook delicious food in my own kitchen.  I also have lovely pups and my health to be thankful for, and it's good to be reminded of things we often take for granted!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

One of my all time favorite character in crime fiction is Lucy  Eyelesbarrow from the Miss Marple series 4:50 from Paddington.  Lucy is a professional house keeper in high demand with an exclusive list of clientele, she happens to be an acquaintance of Miss Marple.  Lucy is a girl who's independent, travels alone, and no doubt loves to solve a thrilling murder all the while maintains a fabulous lifestyle.  

The episode opens with Mrs. McGillicuddy witnessing a murder while traveling on a train to meet Miss Marple, after the train conductor refuses to believe the two ladies's stories, miss Marple enlist Lucy's help to find the body and solved the crime.  

Lucy accepts the challenge and arrives at Rutherford Hall disguised as holiday help to the Crackenthorpes... in no less than a fabulous red vintage car( I suppose they would just call it "car" back in those days) and makes an impressive entrance.  She then plays a important role in solving the murder but also sorting out her love life on the side.  

In any case, do check out this episode as I don't want to spoil all the fun details. 

I saved these pictures from a while back and just today found it again, and even now I'm still in owe of her wonderful style!  If there is a fictional world I'd like to be in for a day I think being in this beautiful setting solving murder mysteries with Miss Marple and Lucy would be it!  

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

My favorite type of accessory is a statement brooch pinned to a simple outfit, the result of watching a lot of classic movies or movies set in the 1930s or 1940s period.  There are so many good examples of vintage pins made during this time and they always seem to have amazing quality and tell a story on their own.

Over the years I have started a small collection of pins for myself, once a month or two or whenever I have a little cash left over after bills are paid I would get myself a little brooch, sort of like collecting stamps. The one that started it all was this little brooch only about an inch and half in size.  It was the first brooch I ever bought back in 2012 while on a trip to Paris.  There was a little boutique in St. Germain that sold beautiful custom jewelry.  I remember taking a long time in the shop not sure which ones to pick.  The shop assistant was quite patient with me and explained what color fit me the best and etc.  etc.  Finally I picked out a couple pairs of earrings and decided to try out some brooches on display.  The lady brought out a few for me to try on and I immediately refused the bigger ones afraid that it might be too much for my petite frame, finally she commented that the smaller ones were good choices for everyday wear so I picked the smallest one there was.  To this day it is still one of my favorite because it reminded me of everything wonderful in Paris! 

I also really love insect themed brooch.  I remember seeing this bumble bee pin on the show Mad Men many years back, it was so unique and I was always on the lookout to see if I could find one for sale somewhere, and just by pure luck a year later I found it online for a little over $10.  It's accompanied me to many long work hours and meetings and looks like a little pet perched on my jacket! 

Nowadays I love all kinds of floral, animal or insect pins.  Some of my weirdest pin include this large enameled lobster that held a few water bubbles between its claws.  It's always a conversation starter, me and my friends have made endless jokes whenever I wore it!  They really help to create a interesting style to my outfits and bring me back to a time that seemed more glamorous.  I always thought my love for fashion would fade as I become more grown up but it turned out to be something that I love even more with time passing.  Whatever I do in life, be it working on a job or spending time with good friends or helping out at community events, I always like to be intentional and wear something I love and feel special in, it may seem a bit petty but they do make life more interesting! 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

I love quick and easy meals that are healthy and delicious at the same time.  Last night I stopped by trader joe's to pick up a few things and also got a bag of their pre-made salad and a small box of hummus.  The ones that come in a bag also have dressing, nuts and dried fruit packaged in and cost as little as $3, it's usually enough for me to eat two meals so I had half last night and half for lunch today.  To kick things up a notch I added in one soft boiled egg, a whole ripe avocado, a scoop of hummus and sprinkled with some cayenne pepper.  The result is some serious deliciousness and I think I will be making this at least couple times a week!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Hibiscus is my favorite tea for quite sometime now, I get mine from Mother's market and one box last me at least a couple of weeks if not more!  I like how it's caffeine free and if I add a slice of lemon there's a bit of tart flavor to the tea.  Someone once taught me that you don't need to use a new tea bag for every cup of tea, rather use a teapot and brew a whole pot with one tea bag.  Usually in the late afternoon or evening this is what I sip on and it's so comforting and delicious!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Something weight heavily on my mind the past few weeks.  I found two pin sized lump under Kelly's nipple and decided to take her in to get it checked out.  After taking her to two veterinarians for different opinions, both recommended surgical removal.  One vet also very firmly said she should get spayed at the same time, which to me just seemed way too aggressive to have surgical procedures at two different locations at the same time.  I eventually opted for removal of the lumps and having her teeth cleaned at the same time with the second vet.  

Leading up to the day of her surgery I was a nervous wreck.  She couldn't eat anything the night before and we had to get to the vet first thing in the morning to get prepped.  I waited an hour and half until her blood work and x rates are looked at by the vet and made sure she was ok to proceed.  Turned out she had to have one of her nipple carved out completely, and the cut was almost two inches.  When I picked her up after the surgery it really hit me hard because the large cut was so scary looking and she was totally spaced out.

After I got her home I cooked some chicken mixed with oatmeal and veggie and she was a good little eater and gobbled it all up. We just sort of watched movies and hangout on the couch without doing much.  Honestly by early evening I was pretty exhausted too.

Yesterday the lab results came out and the two tiny tumors were benign, so I just breathed a long sigh of relief.  We all got a bit shaken up this week and with both me and my pups in pretty poor shape lately, it's really got me to think about how I can maybe improve the quality of our health a bit. 


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