Take Me Downtown on the Vicem 80

vicem 80Some days I can’t be bothered to travel via the car. The roads are windy here in Hong Kong, and since it’s the winter months, road repair is in heavy session causing traffic delays. Sometimes, I’d rather just travel by boat. Our Vicem 80 yacht from Ocean Independence is the perfect little yacht for our family. It suits us just right; there are two adjacent twins for the kids, and the master is cozy for the folks. The interior of our yacht is quintessentially all that a yacht should be–blonde wood with white accents, everywhere. The exterior is navy of course with a nice red belly. I love our Vicem 80 for transporting us around Hong Kong and taking us to the surrounding islands for fun in the sun. Is it Spring yet? I want to get back on the water!

vicem 80

vicem 80

vicem 80

Some Outfit Details
When I travel by boat, I like to match it–hence I’ve got my stripes on, shorten navy trousers, and lots of gold. There are two more items of luxe that match my yacht: the Louis Vuitoon Speedy and my leopard kitten heels. Girls gotta travel in class!
Sunglasses–Topshop
Top–H&M (sold out so from my sister Julie) (similar)
Gold Chain and Choker–Zara (similar)
Pearl Earrings–DIY from Wander and Hunt (similar)
Pearl Drop Necklace–Underground Market at Shanghai Science and Technology Museum (similar)
Pants–Banana Republic but hemmed to be cropped (similar)
Shoes–Leopard Kitten Heels from random Central store (similar)
Bag–Louis Vuitton Speedy 35
Lipstick–Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro #402

(Be forewarned the content above is fictional, but it is fun to dream! The pictures from this post have been taken from a preious post called “All My Faves.” This is my entry into the Ocean Indepence Blogger Challenge. I’ve chosen a yacht that matches my outfit. Maybe I’ll when I day trip to Moncao! Yes, I’d like that very much…)

Style Story: Dresses All Work Week Long

After a week of vacation, getting dressed on Monday is definitely Tough–with a capital “T!” Because I really couldn’t be bothered to figure out what I was going to where, plus I always feel a bit pouchy after the indulgences of a vacation, I grabbed the flowiest item in my closet. The first dress on Monday started a trend, and I just kept going with dresses all week long. They are EASY! Dresses don’t require much matchy-matching–except for the shoes of course, oh and the jewellery, and the coat or sweater. Ok, really, they are easier. Trust me. Here are the dresses (except for one day) that I wore this week.

Monday’s Dress: 4/5

DressesI really like this dress. It’s easy to throw on. It’s a great piece when it’s cold out because I just wear black long johns underneath (Uniqlo makes the best heat technology layers out there!) My sister Mary has had this dress for the past year, so it was fun to get it back. I don’t think it looks smashing on me, but I’m not ready to get rid of it yet. Maybe since I’ve worn it a couple of times this school year, I’ll pass it on to her just to get it back again next year. (I’m seeing this sweet gal in about 2 weeks when she comes to visit us in Hong Kong!)

Tuesday’s Dress: 3/5

DressesIt’s time to give away the baby doll dress. I wore it with over the knee boots which I liked but I just think it’s done. At least this one is. I think. It’s in the giveaway pile already…but should I pull it back out? I mean it’s comfortable and all, but it does nothing for me. That’s where the answer is–get rid of it. If I don’t love it, then it’s done. What I do love about this pic however is being with Luka Lesson! Luka is a poet from Australia who was with us on Monday and Tuesday. He’s such a sensational poet. Check out any of his videos on Youtube to see. He really inspired our students during a very difficult week. There are a few more ways to keep up with Luka: either his Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter account.

Wednesday’s Dress: 3/5

DressesHere’s the thing about wrap dress: I love them, but I think they need to be fully wrap. The faux version kind of bug me. Hence, I’ll be putting this one in the bin–although I do love the way I styled it here with a gold belt and heels. Hmmm, maybe I should keep it…Again, no! It’s gotten some great use, but I’m in the serious process of decluttering my closet. Go Ann! I can do it!! The other item that has been purged from this outfit is the pair of shoes I’m wearing. I do love these little slip ons. In fact, I bought them in Macau years ago when I came down here to present a workshop for fellow librarians. These shoes used to have this cute metallic leopard print to them, but now they’re so worn that print has faded away. When I asked my kids, Booties or slip ons, they were both like, Booties! But I went with the slip ons in an attempt to wear them just one more time. Little farewell so to speak.

Thursday’s Outfit: 4/5

DressesToday I deviate from the dress because the white dress I kept trying to style was getting the “No” from Kevin. He rarely tells me I can’t wear something, so when he does, I listen. The reason for white is a tragic one: a student from our school community passed away recently as did the rest of his family. They were all in catastrophic accident during their Chinese New Year vacation in New Zealand. Life is so very fragile. We live our path, but we do not always control it. Our community is grieving right now. We will make it; we are strong, but it is a very sad time for HKIS.

Friday’s Dress: 5/5

dresses

(Yep! I got my hairs cut. After Wednesday’s pic, I was like, I need a haircut! More on my hair diaries towards short hair next week…)

Basically, this dress ROCKS! I love wearing this dress, I always feel great in it, and after a tough week this was the perfect piece to pick me up. My designer friend Maria of What the Frock made this dress, and believe it or not, it’s still available–but in pink linen. It’s still gorgeous, and I highly recommend this shirt dress. I paired it with cowboy boots since my good friend Amber inspired me to get mine out when I saw hers on Wednesday. Cowboy boots + shirt dress = HAPPY DAY! Five out of five for sure!

Purged from my Wardrobe this Week!

This week I got rid of the following items:

  • The baby doll dress from Tuesday
  • The wrap dress from Wednesday
  • The nylons from Wednesday–the Asian ones from the supermarket do not fit me!
  • The leopard slip ons from Wednesday
  • What I recommend from this week: Over the Knee Boots

    This trend comes in very expensive prices, so I’ve tried to find some options at a lower price point–since they are a trend after all. I don’t really consider this style a classic–yet anyway.


    A Leopard Print Maxi Dresses:

    Of course I’m going to recommend leopard–for me it’s basically a neutral. No but really, when in doubt of what to wear, grab a leopard maxi dress, wear your layers underneath, and you’re going to feel great! I am not kidding.


    A Denim Shirt Dress:

    I totally recommend the linen pink version available on What the Frock?! But, if you must have denim, here are some great options.

    And any or all of these accessories:

    This week, as usual, I was very grateful for my bright orange lipstick, blue mascara (so 80s, but I love it), my statement earrings and necklace, and of course my mum’s boots. Everything below is exactly like mine except for the boots, and unfortunately my earrings are out of stock, but the option below is very similar.

    *This post has been linked up to What I Wore, Brilliant Blog Posts, Fab Favorites, Monday Mingle, Thursday Throwback, and Passion 4 Fashion.

    Louella Odié in Boracay

    Loella OdiéI’ve collaborated again with the awesome Hong Kong label Louella Odié! The last time I traveled with a Louella Odié bag was to Shanghai over American Thanksgiving to visit my sister. This time around, this cute, little (actually decent sized), fish clutch came with me. This was the first time I had carried a clutch, and I do believe I’m sold. Because it’s so much more substantial than a wallet, I always knew it was with me, and I never left it behind like I might with a small wallet. The material of this clutch is quite supple, so it just nestles in nicely under my arm or can be grabbed entirely with one hand. Sometimes I carried just a bit of money and my iPhone; other times I could squeeze in my camera, book, and sunglasses along with the money and phone. It’s a super versatile bag, AND with the delicate embroidered fish atop, it’s the perfect beach bag clutch for the beautiful blues of Boracay. I love it! Take a look…

    Loella OdiéA breakfast of freshly cut mangos is pretty much the standard every morning in Boracay–and absolutely delicious!

    Bag and CoconutsThe clutch resting atop a pile of coconuts.

    Loella OdiéThe Louella Odié fish clutch is ready to take a boat ride and head back to sea…

    Loella OdiéLunch time on vacay calls for a midday, refreshing, light beer.

    Loella Odié

    Loella Odié

    Loella OdiéThe fish feeling at home amongst the sea shells at Puca Beach.

    Loella OdiéDinner time and a nice glass of red are essential after a fun day in the sun.

    Loella OdiéIt’s fair to say this Louella Odié clutch bag felt right at home in Boracay, Philippines!

    You could win a Louella Odié Bag!

    Right now it would be really easy to win your very own Louella Odié bag. Here’s all you have to do.
    1) Follow @louellaodie on Instagram.
    2) Post one of your most favorite, loved, well-used handbags, and tag it with #thisisthebag.
    3) Then in a sentence or two, explain to @louellaodie why it is so.

    On Wednesday, March 4th, of next week, they are choosing a winner! It could be you!!

    Or you could buy one:

    Go take a look through Louella Odié. They have great bags: they are super well made in luxurious leathers, and the fact that they are so artistic adds to the beauty. To purchase this bag visit the Jungle Lily collection. While your there check out my other favorites!

    *This post has been linked up to Brilliant Blog Posts, Style Sessions, and Monday Mingle.

    Writing in My Sleep

    This is a test. I have no idea what to write about for tomorrow’s post. Obviously I haven’t planned ahead well enough….So this will be a test to see if I still have the ability of writing in my sleep. In the evenings I’ve always struggled to stay awake. I get so tired–like right about now at 8:48 pm. In college, when I’d have to read voraciously and then write analysis after analysis, I would often go to sleep, and somehow write the essay in my mind during my rest. I know weird. But I’ve always had the skill of writing in my sleep. So…let see. In the morning, I’ll wake up early and write. And see if it really works! Do I still have it?

    Well…it kind of worked. It’s 5:50 am, and I woke up with a magical memory from my uni days. I was taking summer school going into my junior year so that I would be able to spend my junior year abroad in Italy. I was living at a beautiful porched home in the U-District of Seattle. Of course I’ve always loved reading–hence the literature degree, and half the fun of reading for me is finding a unique spot to get cozily perched. With book in hand I sat nestled on the porch ledge reading away when along walks a Seattle Times photographer. He nicely interrupted me and asked for my picture. I said sure. Next day there was with a big picture of me in the paper reading my book for class.

    I can actually remember the outfit I was wearing in this picture that was captured by the Seattle Times; it was on serious repeat for that whole year which was 1992-1993. I was in denim cut-offs–I don’t think they’ve ever gone out of style right? I had a white tee on. But the item of significance in my memory is the sweater. Oh, it was lovely! It was from Lisa, a very good friend from high school who also went on to the U of W. I can’t recall how I came about having it, but it was the coziest sweater around: a creamy off white, cable knit cardigan with big shell buttons and a hood. Oh! I wore the heck out of that sweater that then traveled to Italy with me and was worn layered on a daily basis. Hmm…where did that sweater go? And why did Lisa give it to me? I might not recall those two memories but I do recall that day in summer school back in 1992… Reading, reading, reading, and then writing in my sleep the essay that was due that day.

    *Unfortunately I’ve searched for the image, but I can’t find it. This summer I’ll dig it out of the trunk and update this post. Hopefully you’ve got your own image in mind of a time when you were nestled just so reading, reading away.

    *This post has been updated because I have a dear friend from the days of this story that remembers and has the newspaper clipping. Eliza, you are so dear! Thank you for sending me this pic!

    Newspaper

    And she’s right. I wasn’t wearing cut-offs but rather jeans. Of course it was raining during Seattle’s summer. And I remembered it being the 4th of July and a flag behind me and all, but I wasn’t positively sure. Amazing though! There’s the sweater. And look at young me just cozily reading away. I love it! Thank you Eliza! Big HUG to you!!

    *This post has been linked up to Brilliant Blog Posts.

    Beach Poncho Tuesday

    Beach PonchoThis is the last Poncho Tuesday and for this post, I’m wearing a beach poncho. No, I didn’t know they existed either, but when I was in Boracay last week and saw this trend all over the beach, I went hunting for one. Granted my beach market version is very cheap, BUT imagine my delight with the light little sequins on this number. There were various pastel shades, but I chose a gold hue in hopes of complimenting a tan achieved by the gorgeous beach sun. Basically, Boracay is beyond beautiful. Really, it’s just majestic. More like spiritual. That’s why with each visit (this was our third as we went twice for CNY while living in Beijing), I always make a little stop at the Virgin Mary nestled out on this tiny spot of an island. She’s nestled there resting peacefully among the rocks and palms and is visited by adorners all day long. She also has a great view: the infamous Jonas’ Juice Shack sits adjacent, so most people make both stops. Here are the other three Poncho Tuesday posts from this February: a poncho over a sequins dress, poncho in monochromatic winter whites, and a neutral poncho with camo.

    Beach Poncho

    Beach Poncho

    Beach Poncho

    Beach Poncho

    Beach Ponchos

    This is the last of the poncho stories, and I would like to make a strong recommendation for the beach poncho–especially one that’s a bit transparent. I find there’s something sexy about a whispery, paper thin cover-up like this one and the selection that follows. With such flowy lines that swish about, I felt extremely lithe in this cover-up, and I know I’m not. That’s ok, but for an item to make me feel that way! Well, that’s something. Plus when it’s see through, giving just a hint of the swimsuit underneath, well, it’s mysterious, but not in a telling way. So basically what I’m saying is if you want to feel covered up yet beachy like Gizelle too, try one of these options. I’m not kidding. I felt….different!

    *This post has been linked up to Brilliant Blog Posts, Style Sessions, Monday Mingle, and What I Wore.

    Carving Out Kremb de la Kremb

    carving
    Carving out a message in Boracay is a super fun activity for people during their island stay. Most messages are devoted to birthdays and usually simply “loving Boracay” but one night while we were on our Chinese New Year vacation I chose a different message. Each night right in front of our hotel as the sun began to set, we would watch these Young, entrepreneurial men stack up the fine white sand and then carve messages out asking for money any time there a photo is taken. I thought why not! Carving out “Kremb de la Kremb” was the cheapest $10 advertisement I’ll ever pay for. It was so fun to watch people stop, read it, read it aloud, and then sometimes pose for their own “Kremb de la Kremb” photo!

    This is the artisan right here. He can’t be more than 16 years of age. Sweet young man, and he and his friends are very smart!

    *FOREWARNING: Even though I’m back to work in Hong Kong with the drizzly winter rains, this week will be filled with more Boracay beauty of beach pics starting tomorrow with one last installment of Poncho Tuesday taken on the beach! I know–ponchos on the beach? Just you wait…

    *This post has been linked up to Brilliant Blog Posts, Style Sessions, and Monday Mingle.

    Style Story: A Week’s Worth of Cover-ups

    What a wonderful week! There are two great perks of being an international educator: one, vacation time! Because we’re on a school year calendar, we are always welcomed by holiday time. It is a definite perk! The other benefit is living overseas in places like Asia where the travel opportunities are plenty. This is our third family trip to Boracay, and I don’t think it will be the last. Yes, I feel lucky! And, yes my outfit all week long consisted of a swimsuit and a cover-up. Not bad, not bad at all! (No scores necessary because I felt great all day long, and I’m not prepared to judge myself in a swimming costume. Yikes!!)

    Monday’s Cover-up

    Black RomperI started out the week in my favorite cover-up–a black little romper with an open back from Zara. Unfortunately after this day of wear, I threw the cute cover-up in the bin. It was so threadbare it was done. I’ll be on the lookout for something similar, but I think I’ll be lucky to find it again.

    Tuesday’s Cover-up

    Rash GuardTuesday started with a rash guard. I find them great to wear in the sun, but in the water they’re so heavy they weigh me down. The sun is hot here in Boracay. By 2:00 in the afternoon, right after lunch, people retreat to the shade, indoors, or shopping. You can guess which one I did. Yep, that’s right–shopping!

    Wednesday’s Cover-up

    Artsy-Cover-upWhen I found this cover-up from Tuesday it was a sure buy. It was only a US $4 purchase, so it was a no brainer. Plus, it’s as if my mom drew the artistic faces and eyes on this shirt. Seriously, this reminds me so much of my mom’s doodles! It’s cotton and comfortable too.

    Thursday’s Cover-up

    Crochet-Cover-upI also found this crocheted black cover-up in the same shop as Wednesday’s cover-up. It’s a great little beach shop called Happy Planet if you’re ever in Boracay. There’s three shops strategically placed throughout Boracay’s beach market, so you’re bound to find something at each of them. I thought I might feel self conscious in this cover-up but I didn’t at all. It wasn’t hot either. For an afternoon at Puca Beach it was the perfect cover-up; I actually never took it off.

    Friday’s Cover-up

    Mesh-Cover-upHere’s a mesh number that I also picked up on this trip. Yes, I stocked up on cover-ups here in Boracay. But, let’s face it: the beach is the best place to get cover-ups. And now, I’m set! I like this one since I LOVE wearing white at the beach. It’s so nice next to a tan, and on my last day here, a tan was absolutely inevitable.

    This week’s style story in a week of cover-ups was a nice deviation from work outfits. Shall I bring the work outfits back next week?

    Happy Chinese New Year everyone!!

    *Unfortunately there are no shopping links this week. Three out of the five of these cover-ups are from the beach and the first one is very old Zara. Shop for similar rash guards and lace cover-ups on those two past posts.

    *This post has been linked up to Visible Monday, Throw Back Thursday, What I Wore, Passion4Fashion, Let It Shine, Fab Favorites, Brilliant Blog Posts, and Monday Mingle.

    Inside My Beach Bag

    Let’s take a look inside my beach bag…
    Inside My Beach BagFor both of my beach bags, I have gone with local Hong Kong bag designers. First I use a MISCHA tote bag plus a Louella Odié tote pouch inside to keep important items separate yet more importantly out of sand’s way. I throw in my sequin sarong from Bali plus my initial “A” hat from Capital M in Beijing (they had a misprint of “A”s instead of “M”s). I also bring our beach mats from Thailand–they fold up nicely and do the trick. As you can see my beach accessories match the colors of the sea–it’s intentional!

    Inside My Beach BagIf you were to dump out the contents to see what’s inside my beach bag, you’d see a plethora of drugstore goodies:

    • To deodorize (cuz you never know when you may need to!) and refresh, I carry some body wipes.
    • For my lips I’ll throw in a couple of balms: Baby Lips by Maybelline for a spot of color and Esos Sweet Mint for SPF.
    • For sunscreen, I swear by this Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Stick in SPF 70. I found this product this summer, and it totally works! We travelled back to HK with 4 bars, and this is the last one. Yikes! I use it on my face, chest, shoulders, arms, and hands. For the rest of my body I slather on NO-AD 30. We have been using this sunscreen for years–like as long as Vincent’s been around. I think we started using it on our weekend trips to Margarita Island when he was just a babe. It’s cheap, it’s mildly scented, and most importantly it works. I’ve never been burned wearing this stuff. We’ve tried others and gotten fried–literally!
    • Even though I use a SPF, that doesn’t mean I don’t wanna be tan: hence the tanner inside my beach bag. This was the first time I tried using Loreal’s Sublime Bronze, and I have to say, I like it. I’m usually either a Tan Towels or Jergens user, but I liked how I could actually see this one going on, and I anticipated some streaks, but I didn’t have any. After I use it a few more times, it might become my new favorite. We’ll see….
    • Also, to look tan I love Beach Hut’s Instant Shimmer–which I have actually only found here in Boracay, so yes, I’ll be stocking up. It’s an oil with SPF of 10 which is hardly strong enough, so I put it on over the 70 and 30. It has these beautiful specks of gold in it hence the shimmer, and it totally works! I like how the gold specks last all day long. I could see almost using this product just to make my legs look more tan during a normal day. I’ll have to try it.
    • Finally, for the hair, I have a lovely product that I found in Thailand that I just spritz on to my hair. If you ever see Pure Coconut hair treatments, stock up. They’re sooooo good. This spray is a perfect leave-in conditioner that protects the hair. Plus when my hair is all beach hair flipped out, a couple of sprays of this settle down my poof. (I could find some Pure Coconut products on Amazon.)

    Inside My Beach Bag
    This tote pouch from Louella Odié is perfect for keeping a couple of things separate in my beach bag.

    • Like my library book! I am very hesitant of even bringing a library book to the beach, but sometimes ya gotta do whatcha gotta do. I’m extremely careful–although that doesn’t always matter. (Yesterday I wrote about the beach reads I brought with me.)
    • My notepad and pencil. I carry one with me everywhere. It’s a habit that I’m very happy to keep. A notebook’s a great place to jot down ideas or detail the day. My little notebook is like an adult security blanket for me.
    • My phone should not even be on the beach, but….I still bring it anyway. I’m super, super careful–just like I am with my library books!
    • Sunglasses in their case also fit well into this separate pouch–although with a case they’d be ok in the big bag too. (I love my hard proof leopard case from the Jim Thompson House–RIP. He’s got the best silks around!)

    There you have it! All the products I bring with me to the beach. It might be a haul, but every item just adds to the luxury of being on the beach. Heck, I want to be inside my beach bag just so it could an eternal place to be. I do love the beach!

    Beach Reads for Boracay

    beach readsThe beach reads I choose for vacation are very important to me. I go through a very thorough book evaluation in order to choose just the right books for reading. Being a librarian I actually take great fun in this ritual. I search my favorite book blogs like Reading Rants, I seek out recommendations from students, I use Goodreads and post a small sticky note on each book with its score. I usually have at least over a dozen books scattered around a shelf. I then check out about ten. Then, when packing another cut happens where I actually only take about five (I haven’t switched to a Kindle reader just yet–note the story down below regarding this conscious decision). I include an audiobook–oh and don’t forget a few magazines. I make sure there’s a wide variety of adult lit, ya fiction, and a couple of nonfiction titles too. I’m not the fastest reader–which actually really stinks considering my profession is in part to read, so I rarely make it through all the books I bring. But, I am always set up with options, and that makes me feel literarily safe.

    Here are the titles I brought on this trip and why:

    Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

    I was actually reading this before departing for this Chinese New Year vacation to Boracay, so naturally I brought this book with me to finish. Oh! It is so good!! I have found an author I just love, yet I know I will savor each book for the next time I need a really good book. I’ve read FanGirl and loved that, so it was no surprise that I loved attachments even more. Rowell has a very unique, very human way of depicting a love story. This love story is so real, so palpable, I could imagine it’s truth. Lincoln basically works as this newspaper’s firewall. He has to check emails that get flagged. Well…he didn’t anticipate falling in love with Beth’s written word. No love at first sight for Lincoln rather love at first words. Romantic? Yes! Meanwhile, Beth is the one with love at first sight–despite having a rockstar boyfriend. You can guess the ending which will be all fine, but getting there will be half the fun. Seeing Lincoln become a man is the most rewarding part of this book–aside from the ultimate love story in the end. I totally recommend this book and like it even better than FanGirl. Up next for me from Rainbow will be Landlines, and eventually I’ll read Eleanor and Park.

    The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

    I just recently gave The Girl on the Train to my sister as an audiobook for her birthday. She had a long flight ahead of her, and since I know she hates travelling, I wanted to find her a book to completely take her mind of things. Well, I found The Girl on the Train. It’s being compared to the new Gone Girl–which I also listened to and absolutely found riveting! Since I too was traveling I also downloaded the book for myself–even though my flight timing is much less I also find listening to a book while traveling the easiest way to take your mind off of, well just things. So, this book is narrated by three women, and they all have beautiful, absolutely beautiful British voices. There’s going to be a crazy death somewhere along the way, and I what I can make from the reviews is that basically the reader will be floored by who dunnit! This book aside from being compared to Gone Girl is also being compared to Hitchcock’s Rear Window. The narration starts out with this lady commuting on the 8 am train each morning. One house in particular becomes her house. She creates a relationship with the man and woman inside. Her story of them becomes their story so imagine when they disrupt her story….I’ll leave it at that. And let you know I’m engrossed!

    When God Winks by SQuire Rushnell

    This one is pretty cheesy but there were some great reminders in this books. Basically, the point is that all the little and big coincidences in our life may be attributed to God winking at us or guiding the path of our life. Some things happen that are so uncanny or so crazily weird, they may make us stop to think, Wow! How’d that happen? Or maybe things take a turn for worse but in the end it was the best. This book made me reflect on pivotal or small little God winks that have happened in my life–like three times a charm in meeting Kevin or spotting my grandpa in a huge wall photo after he died, tearing my ACL and having to go on welfare or getting our jobs in Hong Kong. I definitely believe there’s a pathway for each of us and the little turns that become our pathway may be guided by God winks. This book pointed out some great ways at recognizing when and how to notice when the God winks happen. Since this is a short read, I’d recommend it if you’re interested in learning how to interpret and appreciate the coincidences in your life.

    Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

    This is the book I just started today. When I asked a student of mine in the library about their favorite books they recommended this one. It’s reviewed as a cross between The Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games. Luckily it’s staring much better for me than The Game of Thrones; unfortunately this past summer I didn’t make it through this uber popular title. Sometimes that happens. Anyway, in Throne of Glass, Celaena Sardothien is a lethal assassin. She’s known as Ardenal’s Assassin. She’s been jailed and is there to spend her remaining days (she’s only like 18 or something, so she had a long and painful life ahead jailed in a mine) until she’s brought back to the kingdom to become the King’s Champion. She’s going to have to fight 23 other criminals in order to become the assassin for the king. If she does indeed win (I’m pretty sure she will!), then she will earn her freedom after serving as the king’s Champion (read assassin) for four years. She’ll do it. Not only is she skilled but she’s beautiful and clever too. I’m only in Chapter 10, but I have a good feeling about Celaena and what she’s going to accomplish. IN!

    Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

    You will never hear me saying, Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Never. I mean, come on! Of course a cover matters! And the cover of this book got me–and the title of course. First of all I love espionage books, and when there’s a female protagonist I get all ALIAS. (Remember that awesome show!) In this title Sophronia is a pleasant enough girl, but her mother would like her even more polished, therefore she is entered into Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Little does mum know that more than manners will be learned at this school. Espionage, death, and diversion are right up there with dance, dress, and etiquette. With Vincent in Cotillion here in Hong Kong I was immediately intrigued. And look at the cover: those just aren’t scissors in her hand!

    The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Dale Chapmen

    A while ago I read a post on Cupcakes and Cashmere about the 5 Love Languages. There was a little quiz I took to tell me what I am. I keep urging Kevin to take it even though I think I know what he is. Basically we all love, but we love and like to be loved in a different ways. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while now just so I can be a better lover–to all those in my life. Loving Gigi, Vincent, and Kevin is very important, so I want to get it just right. Perhaps the way I like my love might be the way the like to be loved, so I’ll be finding out.

    Poncho Tuesday and Sequins After the Holidays

    poncho
    When I saw this grey cashmere poncho on a good friend of mine (yes Jane, it was you!), I had to have it. She wore it simply over a crisp white shirt and a pair of jeans. She had stunning boots on as well with the jean leg simply tucked in. Jane is chic: she’s simple and classy and her style is effortless. Basically, I knew I had to copy the whole look. The poncho is from the Cashmere Man in Beijing. (I am sure there are a couple of Cashmere men out there!) The best part about this style is the v-neck in front and the fringe. I love pretty much anything with fringe. In an attempt to continue to wear sequins after the holidays, I wore my grey poncho over this sequins dress I picked up for Christmas in Bali of all places. With a casual grey cashmere poncho and some over-the-knee boots, I think the sequins work. What do you think? And have I convinced you yet that you NEED a poncho in your closet?

    I found a grey poncho for you:

    If I have succeeded in proving to you with this charcoal grey fringe poncho, or this winter white version or even this muted brown one that you need a poncho, get shopping!

    Sick of plain–you just want s Super Cool!

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    *This post has been linked up to Fab Favorites and Passion for Fashion.

    *This post has been linked up to Visible Monday, Throw Back Thursday, What I Wore, Passion4Fashion, Let It Shine, Fab Favorites, Brilliant Blog Posts, and Monday Mingle.