Sunday, November 22, 2015

Stitch Fix

Hi Everyone!

I'm sure most of you know what the title of this post refers to.  For those of you that don't, Stitch Fix is a styling service website where you get monthly (or more often, based on preference) "fixes" of fashion items.  You fill out a profile on their website, and a stylist will style a fix for you based on it.  So you basically get a present every month!  Of course you have to pay for the service, it's $20 per fix, and you get five things sent to you.  Keep the items you want, and mail back the items you don't want.  Check out online, the $20 styling fee applies to the stuff you keep.

It's a really fun service.  I jumped to it when I first found out about the service.  But then I wasn't really liking my monthly fixes.  I felt that the stylist didn't really get me.  So I cancelled for a while, then decided to give it another try.  My November fix was surprisingly good!  When I opened the box, at first glance I wasn't very impressed.  But I still tried on each item.  To my surprise, one of the blouses that I tried on was very flattering!  And the jeans that were sent to me - let me tell you, I already have a handful of black jeans - but this pair, I kept it because it was so incredibly comfortable.

It's truly a fun experience each time I get my box of fixes.  I eagerly await its arrival when the date is close, and when I finally see it at my doorstep, it's like, "Ok, the kids can wait on their dinner.  Mama is trying on clothes first!"

Here's my most recent fix.  I paired the blouse with the black pants, and accessorized the ensemble with a black glittered Rebecca Minkoff clutch and Valentino Rockstud pumps.  On my lips I'm wearing a plum-colored lipstick.  Perfect for the season.  The rather business-like pairing suddenly look hip when I added fun and edgy accessories to it.  I'm still relatively conservative.  My idea of "edgy" is as edgy as a mother-of-three type of edgy gets.  ;)

Blouse: Fun 2 Fun via Stitchfix
Pants: Just Black via Stitchfix
Clutch: Rebecca Minkoff Leo Envelope Clutch via Amazon

Happy shopping!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Stir Fried Sole with Celery

Hi Everyone!

Oh, is it good to be writing again!  I was MIA in the last few weeks because I was so busy putting up my sons' school book fair. I think I'm going to do a post about that too, and label it under "parties."  It was quite a production - literally!  I mean, we chose a Hollywood theme, because you know me, I love my glamour!  And having a fun theme really gets me excited about decorations and stuff.  Which is what I love to do.  So, if you need inspiration on book fairs, stay tuned!

Well, this post is about my life going back to normal and being able to cook for my family again.  I found this recipe on a Chinese cook book also - I don't take credit for stuff that's not original!  So here it is, translated into English.


Sole fillet, cut into 2 inch sections
Celery - about 1/2 a stalk, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
ginger, thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp wine
1 tsp corn starch


1) Marinate sole fille in soy sauce, wine, corn starch, and ginger for about 15 min
2) Stir fry celery and carrots, add salt, remove
3) Stir fry fillet until about 80% done, put celery and carrots back in
4) Add sugar, cook for another 5 minutes, or until fish is fully cooked

Happy cooking!


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Deep Fried Sole Fillet

Hi Everyone!

I've done deep friend fish before-but never was able to make it crispy and have the batter stick to the actual fillet.

I've finally just given up and consulted a cookbook.  Turned out, you're supposed to batter the fish in this order 1) flour, 2) egg, 3) bread crumbs.  And guess what?  Voíla!  It turns out beautifully when it's done in this order!

I chose to put my fish on a bed of stir fried chive buds because my husband loves them.  But you can really put it on a bed of any stir friend vegetable.  Or even just with some lettuce leaves.  Or on it's own.  Although the recipe calls for marinating the fish, you can still dip with either ketchup or a mixture of salt and pepper.  My kids love ketchup - which kid doesn't - so that's what we used.


1 package of sole fillet - you can use any, actually.  I just got the one from Trader Joe's, comes with 3 strips
1 cup flour
3 eggs
3 cups bread crumbs - I used panko bread crumbs, you can use regular ones


Cooking wine
pepper - optional


1) slice fish fillet into rectangular pieces.  Marinate in seasoning for about 20 minutes
2) Coat fillets in 1) flour, 2) beaten eggs, 3) bread crumbs
3) Heat oil, turn heat to medium, fry fillets to golden

This is an easy way to make a fast meal.  Or if you're trying to show off your cooking skills at a potluck, this is an easy dish to prepare.

Hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Coral Me Mine

Happy Friday!

It's been a couple of weeks since I did a fashion post.  24 hours in a day just isn't enough!

But since my boys are off from school today, I am forced to stay home.  And since they are home,  my photographer is finally free as well. :)

I scored this beautiful coral BCBG dress when we were on vacation in Maui.  We were doing a family photo shoot and I didn't have anything to wear.  If you read my post about that vacation, you might recall seeing this dress.  It was on sale, it was perfect for photos, so I bought it.  I wore this dress again for my children's piano recital this past Saturday - which was phenomenal, by the way.  I can't tell you how proud I am as their mom when I watch that all their efforts from practicing has paid off.  *beam*

And you know me.  I love finding multiple ways of wearing a dress.  It's just more bang for your buck when you can style a fancy dress for casual wear.  I went the casual route for the recital, and it was the perfect balance - since it was a Halloween-themed recital, it wasn't meant to be fancy and stuffy.  Yet, at the same time, it IS a performance, and there WAS an audience. I didn't exactly want to go in flip flops and shorts. I think my outfit stroke the perfect note.  Pun intended!


Dress: BCBG, similar here
Jacket: GAP
Shoes: Tory Burch, old, this one here is really cute
Bag: Zara, older, this metallic one here is gorgeous
Necklace: H&M, old, this one here is adorable as well


Shoes: Jimmy Choo via Neiman Marcus
Bag: Saint Laurent, similar here
Necklace: J Crew, similar here

This is my first pair of Jimmy Choos.  And my gosh, now I know what all the hype is about.  They're so incredibly comfortable.  I never thought they were that appealing - I like my fancy shoes really fancy.  Like, bling bling fancy.  Somehow Jimmy Choos never caught my eye. But I needed a pair of shoes in a metallic silver/gold color for an upcoming wedding. I searched up and down my local mall, all over the internet, and finally settled on this one.  And am I really glad I got them!  You get what you pay for, that's for sure! You might be thinking, "Why would I need such nice shoes?  I don't have any where fancy to go!"  Trust me.  There are always places to wear nice shoes.  GNOs, baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, company holiday parties, anniversary parties, Vegas, etc, etc.  Take my advice, buy the ONE pair of really nice shoes (in a neutral color), and forgo all the other ten pairs of mediocre shoes.  Your feet will thank you!

Happy shopping!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

It's only a few days until Halloween, what are your plans?  My family is attending a friend's Halloween party, after we stuff our bellies, we're going to go walk it off around her neighborhood and go Trick-or-Treating with the kids.

My boys are going as Thor and Hawkeye, and my daughter is going as "new" Cinderella - the one with Lily James and Cate Blanchette.  I was going to be Lady Tremaine, but couldn't find a costume that I liked. So I got my creative juices going and made my own costume.  It's the first time I've made my own costume and I was pretty proud of my idea. I'm going to be a clock that strikes midnight!  Isn't that fun?!  My husband always dresses up in as outrageous a costume as he can find (he was a full on Olaf to our daughter's Elsa last year), so he wanted to be the Hulk to match the boys' Avenger's theme.  But we just couldn't find a good Hulk costume.  So I told him that I'd make his costume too.  We'll all match our daughter.  And...he will now be Cinderella's pumpkin!  The problem was, I couldn't find a good pumpkin costume.  Every single one has a scary Jack-O-Lantern face on it.   So I got a piece of blue fabric, sewed it on the pumpkin costume to cover scary Jack, then used black felt and made a pumpkin carriage silhouette.  Then glued that on the fabric.  It's looks totally awesome.  I'll post pictures of the three of us once we all put our costumes on.  :)  I think we should win any costume contest!

Well, enough talk about Halloween (I think I'm more excited than the kids!).  I recently made these short ribs and they were a fan favorite at my house.  Everyone loved them.  Even my husband!  And he's a man that's hard to please.  I adapted this again from a Chinese cook book. So I will translate and post it here for you.

1/3 lb short ribs
2/3 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp cooking wine (or any wine)
1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
dash of salt
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp ketchup
1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water

1) Marinate ribs with soy sauce, wine, garlic, and salt mixture for 20 min
2) Coat with cornstarch and flour, then deep fry until golden.  Remove.
3) Combine ketchup, sugar, and water.  Cook with 1 tbsp of oil until boiling. Put ribs in sauce and coat evenly in high heat.  When sauce has nearly dried up, remove and serve.

Happy cooking!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pork Tender Loin with Garlic Sauce

Happy Tuesday!

I wasn't able to post a recipe last week because I got busy with some book fair preparations.  But I really wanted to share this easy recipe with you. There's not much preparations at all!  Just a large pot, pork, some asian sauces and garlic, and you're DONE!  Here goes!


1-2 lbs of pork tender loin
2-3 cloves or garlic, minced
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp water
2 tsp sugar


1) combine all sauces
2) add garlic in sauce
3) boil pork tender loin until done, about 1 hour in medium heat
4) slice into thin slices, and you can either pour garlic sauce on the slices, or use as dipping sauce.



Friday, October 9, 2015

Falling Into You

Hi Everyone!

TGIF!  Boy, was I waiting for today like a child waiting for his milk and cookies.  It's been a really tough week.  We had to put our dog to sleep this Monday, and it's been incredibly hard on our entire family. We've had our dog, Koko, for over 10 years; she was really the sweetest dog you can have.  When I told the the kids, they all broke down in tears.  And even as I'm typing this, my eyes are welling up.  Kok kept everyone company even until the last days of her life.  She would wait for me to return home after dropping off the kids at school, so I was never lonely; she would wait downstairs with my husband until he finished working, late into the night, and walk upstairs with him when he was finally ready for bed; she'd lie down on the carpet with my daughter, who would talk to her about anything and everything, and let her put clip-on earrings on her; she'd accompany my son to his room when I told him to shower, so that he wouldn't be alone.

We had another dog that passed away a couple of years ago, but this one really hit everyone hard. Because this one was our only dog, and she was such a sweetheart.  I still find myself automatically looking under my feet after propping them up on the coffee table, making sure I don't step on her if I got up, only to realize that wait, there isn't anyone down there.  And when I enter my house through my garage, I'm still slowly opening the door because I'm used to her waiting for me there.  

We miss you, Koko!  You were the best companion to all of us.  We will never forget you, and this is a way for us to remember you always.  You'll be in our hearts forever.

Ok, well, now that I got you all crying (sorry)...back to our regular program...

It's been a little cooler these days.  Thank goodness because it's just been too hot.  I don't know if I mentioned this in my other posts, but my daughter keeps saying it over and over again, and I thought it's so funny because she says it with such enthusiasm, in that squeaky 4-year-old voice, that I had to mention it again.  "I'm DONE with the heat!!!"

So I see that suede skirts has been trending these days.  And I've been dying to try it out.  I finally got a cute one from Zara that is totally appropriate for Fall.  In a simple, dark brown color, you can dress it either up or down.  I did the two looks so you get an idea of what a great investment this piece can be!


Skirt: Zara
Jacket: Gap
Bag: Céline


Shoes: Cole Haan, so old but these here are so cute!
Necklace: Madewell

Thanks for reading!  Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Slow-Cooked Beef Shank

Happy Hump Day!

I made this delicious dish last night because I've been craving it for a while.  My entire family likes it, especially me and the hubby, since we've all had it when we were kids.

Although it super easy to make, it takes a long time.  When I say long, I mean loooonnng.  I started cooking this on Monday.  It was finally done...Tuesday afternoon.  So I'd say it took me about 6-8 hours.  See what I mean?!  Then again, it's actually tastier if you let the shank sit in its broth overnight in the fridge.  So it's a good idea to make this a day ahead.

However, if you own a slow-cooker, I think you just might be able to do this in the slow cooker.  I don't have one - we have so much junk in our kitchen, I REFUSE to add more stuff.  So I do it the old-fashioned way: on the stove.  However, I'd imagine you can prepare everything and dump them all in the slow cooker in the morning, and have a delicious dish ready by dinner time.


2 lbs beef shank
1 tomato
1 onion
5-7 slices of ginger
4-5 pieces of star anise
soy sauce
cooking wine
green onions, chopped


1) Blanch beef shank in hot water.  Cook until all the impurities have floated to the top.  Drain water and rinse.
2) Heat oil in pot, stir fry ginger until fragrant.  Add shank.
3) Fill pot with water, covering shank.  Add soy sauce, cooking wine, sugar, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions
4) Let simmer in soft boil until shank is soft.  It takes awhile if you're doing this on the stove.  Like I said, it took me 6-8 hours.  I had to constantly add water.  I don't know what it's like in a slow cooker though.
5) When done, let cool, store in fridge overnight
6) When ready to serve, cut into thin slices. Garnish with chopped green onion.  Reheat broth and pour about 2 tbsp full over the sliced shank.

What's good about this dish is that you can kill two birds with one stone.  You can use the broth to make - you guessed it, beef noodle soup!  I kid you not, it's the best broth ever!  That's how I served mine last night.  The kids and I had noodles, and the hubby, who's not a fan of noodles, had just the shank and some other vegetables I cooked.  Everyone was happy.



Friday, September 25, 2015



Gosh, it has been so hot this week.  Honestly, when you live in So Cal, you really don't experience an Autumn.  I feel like it goes straight from Summer to Winter.  It's been so hot in the past years during Halloween too.  I guess it's good for the kids with their costumes, since they won't have to double up underneath.

So with this weather, I thought it was fitting to still do a summer look.  Whoever said that you can't wear white after Labor Day clearly hasn't experienced the heat waves we've been having recently.

Stripes are all the rage for a while now.  I have to be honest, I didn't love them before.  But the more I see other people wear stripes, the more I like them.  I have a striped t-shirt, a striped sweater, and now, this cute striped dress.  Pair it with the cutest trend of slip-on sneakers, top it off with a hat, and voila!  You're ready to battle this crazy heat.

Shoes: Ralph Lauren
Hat: I bought mine from Amazon, but the beige one is all sold out.  Here's a similar one 
Sunglasses: Tory Burch, old.  Here's a pair of Tory Burch aviators.

Try to stay cool!  My goodness, it's just too hot!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Seafood and Tofu Casserole

Hi Everyone!  I've been so busy recently with my sons' school - I'm running the school Fall book fair with another mom, and it's just been, non-stop go, go, go!  Everyday has a deadline, everything needs to be done immediately.  I'm telling ya, those people doing your children's school book fairs, they deserve a huge pat on their backs for all the hard work they're putting into the schools.  I would've never thought it would be so hard until I had to run it this year.  It literally is running a real business, and it takes a village to make it work.

The only reason I'm telling you this is because I normally do two posts a week - Tasty Tuesday with a recipe, and Fashion Friday with a "look."  My Tasty Tuesday today is already later than usual.  There might be weeks where I won't do any posts at all!  But I will try my very best.  I love sharing with everyone anything food, fun, and fashion related!

So I got today's recipe from a Chinese cook book.  I will share this recipe since it's not online.  This dish was so good.  I always order this when I go to a Chinese restaurant.  So when I saw the recipe in the cookbook, it was almost like hitting the cooking jackpot.  :)

6 scallops
1/2 lb of shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 box tofu
1/2 carrot
3 mushrooms (cut in halves)
bamboo shoot (optional - I didn't have any so I omitted it)
1 cup of sweet pea
1 stalk green onion
4 slices of ginger
1 tbsp cornstarch solution (cornstarch + water)
3 cups chicken broth (I used chicken stock - it's more flavorful)

dash of salt
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp wine

1) Marinate shrimp and scallop in salt and 1/2 tbsp cornstarch for 10 min
2) Cut tofu into 1 inch pieces
3) Slice carrot, green onion, and ginger
4) Heat pot, fry shrimps, drain
5) Heat pot with 2 tbsp oil, fry green onion and ginger until fragrant, add mushroom, carrot, tofu, and broth - stir.  Then add shrimp, scallops, and sweet peas.  Add oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt, sugar, and wine.  Thicken with cornstarch solution.  Remove to casserole dish.

Hope you liked this recipe as much as I did!  Please don't limit yourself!  Add fish fillets or squid if you like those too!