same skirt, different seasons

This photo was taken back in February in Carmel Valley. Bottom one was taken last week at the Golden Gate Park. Though its the same skirt, I'm not sure how the colors came out so different. Summer versus winter light?

I'm trying to clean out my closet and sort my clothes between keep, resell, give away piles and trying to embrace the "less is more" mentality. It's a daunting task especially since I've grown quiet attached to some clothes that doesn't even work for me or my style anymore. So far, here's my to keep criteria:
  • If I can come up with 3 outfits using the said piece of clothing. Like the summer skirt above, which I can wear all year long because I can easily "winterize" it with tights and boots and because of its neutral color goes well with a lot of tops.
  • Function vs. emotion. If its been sitting in my closet unworn for months then I need to get rid of it no matter how much I think I love it. Because if I really do love it, then I'd wear it, right?
  • Fit and style. I'm a sucker for sale items and most of the time I end of buying something just because its on sale, never mind that it doesn't fit with the rest of my aesthetic or its a size too big or too long for me. Either I have these items altered or just re-sell it.
  • Practicality. I have multiple capris and shorts that I kept for those days when I feel like lounging around. But since I live in San Francisco and you can hardly wear them because its often cold here, then I only really need to keep 2 of each.
Any other tips or advice? I'd really appreciate it. Arigatou.

sunday morning walk


My neighborhood has a lot of steep hills and secret stairways. Sometimes it makes me dizzy just climbing up and down these steps. But it is so worth it because of all the beautiful gardens and windows along the way. Not to mention, it's also a pretty darn good workout!

hug a cloud

Ever since I posted this Rebecca Miller photo some months ago, I've been secretly wanting a cloud installation in my apartment. Well I think I may have found a perfect alternative to my wish in this little pillow from Etsy:

Seriously, how adorable is this? I love the dotted tights and those dainty Mary Janes. And its handmade too. You can check it out here.

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend. xxo.

inspiration: poet's loft

My heart skipped a beat when I saw this (via A Cup of Jo). Truly. And then I almost fainted when I learned that it is a rental house in Point Reyes (I was just there two weeks ago!). Private deck with a hot tub. Gorgeous view. A perfect writer's retreat. To know that such a place exist less than an hour's drive from where I live makes me happy somehow. One can always dream, right?

ii tenki desu ne

This means "it's beautiful weather, isn't it?". After wearing tights and sweaters for most of June, July, and August, our summer is finally here and I've been out and about enjoying the sunshine. Here is a picture diary of what I did last Sunday.

9:00 A.M. Laundromat, washed and folded clothes.

11:00 A.M. Bought some cut flowers for my apartment.

1:00 P.M. Ocean Beach with a friend. Bubbles, bubbles!

2:00 P.M. More of the beach, chasing waves.

4:00 P.M. Loving these pastel-colored houses by the ocean.

6:00 P.M. Early dinner with another friend at the Yerba Buena Gardens.

8:00 P.M. At my neighborhood park, view of the city skyline after sunset.

P.S. How are you? I hope you are also enjoying the last days of summer.

young hearts run free


Every since I saw the movie Once, I've always loved this duo from The Swell Season. They made a great film, fell in love, won the Oscars, eventually broke up, but they still remain close friends and continue to make beautiful music together. I just love how their voices compliment each other so well.

Here is one song of them that I found from the Levi's Pioneer Sessions series. Levi's teamed up with musicians to do a remake of songs that influenced them as artists. The duo chose the 70's disco hit "Young Hearts Run Free". Click on player below to listen:


You can also download the song for free here. My other favorites from this series are: She & Him, The Kills, Passion Pit, and of course, my boy Jason Mraz. Enjoy!

P.S. What are your plans for the weekend? I've been nursing a cold so no big plans for me, just sleeping in and resting as much as I can. And if I'm lucky maybe I can watch this movie on Sunday. Have a great one.

deconstructing an outfit

Inspired by your lovely comments about my dress from this previous post (thank you!), I decided to share the rest of the outfit. Here is a full-length photo of me with the foggy Point Reyes coastline in the background:

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I'm not exactly sure what is up with my head tilt, I guess I tried to do a hand-on-hair pose like a good fashion blogger, only to realize that my hair is tied back. Ha! I've got to give it to fashion bloggers, posing in front of the camera is haaaaaard. I don't know how they do it on a regular basis.

Anyways, this dress has an interesting back story. I bought it full price at Anthropologie, felt guilty and returned it, couldn't get it out of my mind so I stalked and stalked it online until it finally went on sale months later, and managed to snag the last petite dress in my size. Yes, I'm crazy. But I really do think its worth all the stalking. It's white and strapless with a very full skirt and stripes at the bottom, I can mix and match it with almost everything in my closet -- what's not to love?

Outfit details:
Dress - Anthropologie
Jacket - Forever 21
Headband - Anthropologie
Hair clip used as a pin - H&M
Wool scarf - old flea market find
Boots - Seychelles, on sale at a local boutique


*Photo of me taken by Holly

heartbeats

Today is such a beautiful sunny day and as I was walking along the Ferry Building, I realized that it was exactly four years ago yesterday when I first moved to this city. A lot sure happened in those four years. I've said this before but I'll say it again, living here is one of the best things that ever happened to me. I don't even know if I'll love any other city as much. Here is one of my favorite videos of San Francisco. Enjoy. xxo.

making me happy


It's been awhile since my last happiness list and I really need one. Going back to work has been tough, to say the least. We are starting the new school year with high caseloads and I have a feeling that it will only get worse given our current budget cuts. Also, my car was making this strange grinding noises and I had to get it fixed which cost a lot of money. Yikes.

But enough of that. Here are a few of my little joys:

Talking to my 2 year-old niece on the phone. She keeps saying I love you every time she couldn't find the right words to say. And she calls me Odchie, her own version of my childhood nickname.

Sayuri sake. Now added to my favorite drinks list. And how cute is the packaging? Don't let this little pink bottle fool you though, it does pack quite a punch.

Foggy and moody Point Reyes. See Holly's breathtaking photos here.

Sushi and crepes with my cousin (also my best friend) who drove all the way from San Jose just so he could cheer me up with food. And it worked.

Understanding what the server is talking about at a Japanese restaurant and talking to her with my limited Japanese.

Ethiopian coffee that my friend Neeha gave me from her recent trip there. So very good. I'm tempted not to drink it everyday so it will last longer.

Getting a thank you card and movie passes from one of the families that I work with.

Ballet and dancing to live piano music.

Blogging and discovering new-to-me blogs.

How about you?

monday pretties


I don't know about you guys but pretty rooms with bookshelves make me swoon. Yup, nerd alert. But isn't this room just heavenly? The wallpaper, those cushions. Oh my.

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Then I saw this bedding from Anthropologie and my imaginary list of things to buy if or when I become rich just got longer. Not really. But the print is actually collected love letters from a vintage shop in Brooklyn. How awesome is that? I personally would prefer something like this made of handwritten poems. Then you'll literally be sleeping with poetry. Ah, I would love that. Very much.

(Photos from Wary meyers and Anthropologie)

the seasons are changing, the harvest comes


Once again broken promises keep me here --
I feel so caught up with you
and yet bound by the roots of this ground.

As clich├ęd as it sounds, this short film and the words above really spoke to me. It was made for the Australian label Lover and yes I'd wear their dresses every single day if I could. But more than the lovely clothes, there is something about this film that captures how I feel at the moment. All that restlessness, longing, and melancholy that comes with the changing seasons. The scenery also reminds me of these photos that I took around Point Reyes last Tuesday.







P.S. Isn't Sophie Lowe gorgeous in this film? You can see the complete Harvest collection from Lover here. Be prepared to swoon. And have a wonderful weekend!

hallstatt

Hallstatt

I watched this movie last week and fell in love with Austria. Especially this little village of Hallstatt. Surrounded by mountains and a lake, it is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Isn't it dreamy? See more photos here, though I must warn you, it will inspire a serious case of wanderlust.

How about you, where is your fantasy destination these days?

(Photo by Kopernikus 1966)

happiness creek

happiness creek

Goodbye summer break, hello new school year. Tomorrow we go back to work and the daily grind so it was just fitting that I spend this day adventuring up north to Point Reyes. Stopped by this creek, which I'm too lazy to look up the name, so let's just call it the Happiness Creek, because that's what it does, it makes you forget about that panicky feeling knowing that your lazy summer days is about to end. It felt so good to wade in the cool water and look up the tall redwoods with the sun on my face!

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Posting will be light for the next couple of days as I try to get organized for the new school year. Wish me luck.

(Photos of me taken by Holly)

lines, textures, words

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1. Standing in line for the Impressionist Exhibit at the de Young Museum 2. Monet quote at the de Young cafe 3. Blackberry ad at the train station.

Hope your Monday is off to a good start. xxo.

quiet spaces

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Waterlilies at Golden Gate Park. Sitting on a red chair at the children section in a bookstore, reading this inspiring book by Sabrina Ward Harrison. I loved everything that she wrote. Especially the part about travel (click on photo above to read the quote).

Here's to an inspired weekend.

comrades, almost a love story




I've been looking for this movie for awhile now and finally last week, when I was without internet and became a permanent fixture at the local libraries, I managed to track it down at the Chinatown library. The fact that I watched the whole thing despite its hard to read subtitles and low picture quality (its only available on VCD) is a testament to how good this movie is. I can't remember being so touched by a film since Bright Star.

Set in HongKong before it was turned over to China, the story is about two young immigrants who came to the big city to pursue their dreams. The boy wants to make enough money to marry his fiancee and bring her to Hong Kong, the girl is working multiple jobs so she can send money home and buy a house for her mom.

Simple enough, right? The beauty of this film is in its execution and character study. You can probably tell from the *almost* part of the title that this is not your typical happy-ever-after story, it's bittersweet, and very, very real. It broke my heart to watch two people try so hard not to fall in love, be pragmatic, and pretend that they want something else. And as an immigrant myself, I can relate to their struggle to assimilate and learn the cultural nuances of their adapted city.

A film critic that I really admire recommended this movie as one of the must-see foreign films. Now I understand why. Its unfortunate that it wasn't shown in the U.S. and had only limited DVD release. But if you do manage to find a copy, its definitely worth the search.

baby penguins

Watch these little penguins wobble and knock over a camera. Too funny. They are practicing for their big "march" at the San Francisco Zoo next Tuesday.



In other news: I did well on our Japanese class midterm exam. Yay!
And Prop 8 was overturned. Double yay!

morning scribbles


Cold/samui/tugnaw. I can now talk about the weather in 3 languages. But that doesn't make it any better. I thought I'm used to our freezing summers. Apparently not.

There are mornings when I wake up and I'm filled with so many worries it threatens to topple me over.

9:00 a.m. I go for a walk. Breathe.

I think about a word, a picture, a line from a song.

Someone is singing in front of the train station, and it's a song that you love. (translated from this song).

Last week at the post office an elderly man in front me was talking to the station agent. She asked him how are you. He said, not so good, my wife passed away last Friday. I could tell that he was trying so hard to keep it together. He talked about how she was recently diagnosed with cancer, how she fell and broke her ribs, complications from surgery.

It was all too sudden
, he said, his voice breaking. I wanted to give him a hug, say something nice. How do you say I'm sorry to a stranger and really mean it? I watched him buy a packet of Forever stamps, as if it was just another ordinary day.

Now its 10 a.m. I walk past a Victorian house with pretty windows. Somewhere else in the world people are sleeping with stars over their heads.

art and dance

Happy Monday friends! I had such a great weekend, hope you did too. Yesterday at the Legion of Honor Museum, we saw artist Jeremy Sutton paint dancers from our very own Chamberdance. Dressed as Edgar Degas, he showed us how his painting, Dance Rehearsal, came to life. First, he sketched each ballet dancer using pastel on paper.

Then he took out his easel, asked the dancers to assume their poses, and added colors on the painting. He showed us how to add more "light" at the dance studio.

Finally, here is the painting in progress. The whole demonstration felt like a glimpse of the past - period costumes, French music playing in the background, sculptures at the gallery - it was wonderful, all of it.

P.S. I made some (very) minor changes with the blog layout. How do you like the larger pictures?