Tuesday, June 26, 2012

5. on vanity

Are you vain that you thought that song was about you? (Even though it came out before you were even born?)

I grew up with a bunch of Nigerian-Americans to whom I credit a lot of my current personality. I think every single Asian-American should grow up with Nigerians for two reasons: 1) they're immigrants (or children of immigrants) so your experiences are going to be similar, 2) they have the greatest mix of confidence and pizzazz out of any racial group I've ever met.

Every time Chi-chi (Chiamaka) would pass a mirror, she would say to the reflection, "Ooohh, I look so good." At first I couldn't believe that the bitch thought she was real. It was clearly time for her braids to be redone, and one of her socks had a giant hole in it. At the top, nonetheless! But being around a girl who loved herself and the way she looked at all times (through weight gain, weight loss, puberty, etc.) really rubs off on you. After a while, the reflection in my mirror started looking good, too, despite the acne, poor optical fashion, and stick figurine S-line.

There's a thin line between vanity and self-confidence, but from what I've seen, we could all use a little Chi-chi inspiration. Love yourself because if you don't, who will?

It looks like I blinked. Unfortunately, this photo was on purpose.

WHABAM! My pride and joy.

Zara striped studded shoulder shirt
Blank Denim studded cut off shorts
Zara cropped leather jacket
Loeffler Randall mesh and suede booties
Celine bicolor pouch
Bonjour Kitten antique 'Geni' ring

Monday, June 25, 2012

[atlanta macarons] review: cacao, buckhead

This is a continuing series of reviews on Atlanta's macarons. You can find the other reviews here.

Located off Peachtree St. in the same shopping strip as Fellini's, Cacao's Buckhead location has the same interior care as their Virginia Highlands location. A soft blue wallpaper on the walls with white accents pretty much sums up my dream decor. I also love how the open counter plan allows customers to view all of the offerings freely. While they're known for their chocolates, my eyes went immediately to this giant display of macarons.



Price: $2.00 per macaron

The macaron breakdown:

one of the lightest vanillas I've ever tasted. A really well done vanilla macaron and perfect for those who don’t like the almond syrup flavoring in Laduree’s vanilla macarons.
Pistachio cherry
I hated this flavor the most. I could see where they were trying to go with the pistachio by giving it a twist with the cherry jelly, but this just didn’t work properly. The texture is offputting, and the jelly just didn’t mix well with the cookie. For some reason, I had a pretzel aftertaste.
Not enough sugar in the jelly, but too much sugar in the cookie.
One of the more adventurous flavors, and a twist on the famous rose flavor. However, I don’t know if lavender is a good choice as a main flavor. It tastes good as an accent, but I have yet to see it executed well as the prominent flavor.
Just when I was losing hope on Cacao’s macarons, tiramisu arrived. This flavor is SO GOOD. Something about the cookie didn’t crumble correctly (too hard), but regardless, it’s excellent. Hands down their best flavor.
good, but nothing extraordinary.
Dark chocolate
PERFECTION. And this is coming from someone who avoids dark chocolate like carpenter jeans. I want to say that this is the best chocolate macaron I've ever had. Laduree's chocolate always felt a bit too sweet and creamy, and while they use a lighter chocolate, I definitely think that Cacao got this one right by going for a darker flavor. Smoky and understated.

Final verdict: while there were some misses, there were a few definite hits. Cacao is known for its chocolate, and all of their chocolate based macarons are superb. Forgo the other flavors and go for their chocolate and tiramisu.

Cacao Buckhead
2817 Peachtree Rd., NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 467-4670

Thursday, June 21, 2012

4. lowered expectations

As I sit here listening to a sad ballad from my "Alone... Still" playlist (the song is "High and Dry" by Radiohead), I begin to wonder where I went wrong with the last guy I dated. Oh, right. He had a job that paid by the hour, didn't go to college, and was in a terrible band... leading to my thought for today: do we attract a certain type of person?

Because judging from my past, my future doesn't look very promising. It looks short, possibly overweight (at the very least, a large beer gut), questionable hair styles, and even more questionable credentials. I know we all make the general statements that personality accounts for more than looks, but isn't attraction partly based on physical attraction? And if there are no physical traits to appreciate, what are you looking at?

Honestly, I'm jealous of girls who can see the "diamond in the rough." Seeing as that statement was first introduced to me in the movie "Aladdin," I'm going to use him as the example. Despite his "street rat" demeanor, Princess Jasmine was able to see past his raggedy clothes and pet monkey (potential rabies or Ebola carrier) to the prince he could become. On the other hand, why can't the universe just give Princess Jasmine the pre-packaged prince she deserves?

Riddle me that.


Retro Ballerina Chic silver sweater
Etoile Isabel Marant cotton linen skirt SS11
Steve Madden 'Dynemite' leopard sandals
Miu Miu tote bag

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

review: the optimist, westside

I'm a huge fan of seafood. I actually prefer it to any other form of meat, but thus far, Atlanta's really been lacking in providing a really good seafood restaurant. (But don't hate on Red Lobster. Those cheddar biscuits are worth every single of those 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 350 mg of sodium.) Words cannot describe the elation I had when I heard that The Optimist was opening on the Westside.


Opened by Chef Ford Fry of JCT Kitchen (another delicious Atlanta must), the interior is impeccable. Clean, white walls. Wooden dining accents. Open kitchen. And the most perfect oval shaped bar.


I went there for lunch, which has a good smattering of items from the dinner menu. We ordered the lobster roll and the blackened redfish sandwich. There were definitely bahn mi influences in the redfish sandwich with its use of coleslaw and cilantro. (Thanks, L.) And the flavors were excellent in the lobster roll (possibly the best lobster roll I've had), but I do wish there was more of it.

Lobster roll with fries
Blackened redfish sandwich with fries

I'd definitely like to go back for dinner, if only to check out their extensive drink list. And of course, to grab some of their raw oysters.

The Optimist 
914 Howell Mill Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 477-6260

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

3. embellishments

What's your reaction when someone says that they have the same dress/top/blazer as you?

I could only think of one instance in which such a situation would bring utter distaste and that would be at prom. For some reason, there is nothing more sacred in high school than senior prom. Considered a rite of passage for so many more reasons than as a major indication as an end of an era, the greatest question for many weeks is, "What are you going to wear?" Never has such a question struck such fear into many girl's hearts.

If you're an extreme case like me, you'll go above and beyond to make sure no one comes in wearing the same dress. While all the normal girls in my generation went to their local Macy's/Nordstrom (and the rich girls went to Jessica McClintok), I set foot into Saks for the first time in my life. After much humming and hawing and extreme begging, I finally got the dress of my dreams (at that time): a beige Sue Wong number with so much beading that it actually made the dress weigh more a full piggy bank. Retrospectively, I can't think of a bigger waste as I never wore that dress again. I was also stupid enough to sew an obscene amount of padding into the boobs, thus ensuring that the dress will NEVER again see the light of day.

When I wore this Zara blazer for the first time, a girl actually chased me down and said, "I have the same blazer as you." It took everything I had in me not to shout, "TWINSIES!" I'm never shopping at Zara again. (This is a lie.)


Zara 'Fantasy Fabric' embellished blazer
Tibi wine ruffle top
Club Monaco 'Marianna' short
Jeffrey Campbell x Pixie Market 'Daul Painterly' sandals ('Soiree' heels by JC here)

Friday, June 15, 2012

review: sound table, old fourth ward

A while back, I dragged Lillie out to Sound Table, a restaurant-cum-lounge, in the Old Fourth Ward. After we left our cars with a toothless woman who asked us "to take care of her," we were seated and presented with an inventive drink menu and seasonal food menu.


As someone who isn't a fan of Top Flr, I was really surprised at how much I love Sound Table. Maybe it was the music, but it was probably the booze - I had a really great meal and could easily see this being a good post-dinner birthday spot. With a tight DJ schedule, I'd pick Thursday and Friday nights as the busy nights, but no night will disappoint.

soundtable-3 soundtable-4

The Sound Table
483 Edgewood Avenue Southeast
Atlanta, GA 30312
(404) 835-2534

Thursday, June 14, 2012

2. playing grown up

I recently discovered through a bout of Facebook stalking that a large chunk of my high school classmates are married. Mostly to each other, but married nonetheless. The majority have children; some have more than one. Yet, when I look at their photo albums entitled, "MOVING INTO OUR NEW HOUSE!" and "CORRIE'S FIRST BIRTHDAY!", I usually have one thought: are these people just better at pretending to be adults than me?

Because I refuse to believe that they are "for real." 90% of the time, I have to stop myself from indulging childish impulses. Examples, you ask? Taking off all my clothes and jumping into a mall fountain in my bra and underwear. Pranking unsuspecting family members with grade school gags. Telling graphic poop jokes. Have you heard of the missionary toilet paper?

The only time I ever attempt to play "adult" is when I get dressed. There's a sense of safety knowing that you can take it all off in a single instant and slap on your cut off Levi's and a slashed tank at any given second. You can't do that when you have a baby. Or a mortgage.


Converse by John Varvatos beige silk ruffle top
10 Crosby ikat shorts (in red)
Pour la Victoire tassel sandals
Celine bicolor pouch
Bonjour Kitten monogram headband (coming soon!)

summer shorts

[Row 1]: 10 Crosby Azure print shorts, 10 Crosby Ikat shorts, Topshop MOTO Roulette hotpants
[Row 2]: Marc by Marc Jacobs striped knit short, Madewell Sportshadow Panorama short, J. Crew 'Tiki' print short
[Row 3]: Delia's floral denim short, Elizabeth & James 'Oscar' printed silk short, Organic by John Patrick vintage short

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

style files: santigold 'disparate youth'

In preparation for Osheaga, I've been ferociously downloading all of the artists I hope to see there: The Shins, Metric, M83, Madeon, etc. When I finally got a chance to listen to Santigold's new album, "Master of My Make Believe," I knew I'd found the ultimate summer album. Just as Phoenix's "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" defined the summer of 2009 (and 2010 and 2011...), I can easily see Santigold's latest in heavy rotation during the endless Atlanta rush hour.

In honor of the first single off the album, I'm dedicating this week's style files to "Disparate Youth." Filmed in Jamaica (where she recorded much of the album), it's odd to see her wearing pants around a beach, but hats off to her mixing the black and white striped bustier with floral pants.

santigold disparate youthTopshop sleeveless striped shirt, Topshop MOTO metallic floral 'Leigh' jeans, Cara 'My Private Jet' fascinator headband, ASOS 'Honey' wedges, Swell Caroline 'Fabienne' earringsASOS 'Love' bangle, ASOS side cross bangle

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

1. power casual

I'm getting things done this week.

I spent a large chunk of the weekend watching the Euro 2012 Championships and griping to anyone who would listen to the point (or lack thereof) of baby showers. A large part of me hates these societal rituals (i.e. baby showers, wedding showers, bachelorette parties) for the same reasons Carrie cited in "A Woman's Right to Shoes": if I don't follow these standards, society will never celebrate my life choices... which is mostly to become a designer bag lady and invest all the money I'd spend on a wedding on achieving the ultimate shoe collection. 

But honestly, can someone please explain to me why all the games played at these events are so shitty? The "Guess the Chocolate 'Poop' in the Diaper" game is sickening, and variations on the "guess the baby's features" concept is a snore. I swear to god, if I have to make another stupid scrapbook, I'm going to cut someone. Who looks at those things? Lillie made me many years ago, and I've looked at it once - when she gave it to me. (Sorry, L.)

I guess I'm just not the cupcake-loving, pastel color obsessed, Pinterest user I'm expected to be. 

Here's a tribute to all the power women out there. Join me in raising a glass: to our right to blowing our disposable income on booze, clothes, and whatever else catches our fancy!


Zara denim shirt (similar here)
Paul & Alice striped skirt
Smythe blazer 

Friday, June 8, 2012

covering up in sin city

While the rest of Vegas was a sweltering 100*+, the inside of the convention center was ice cold. I made a mistake of wearing a light jacket on the first day and ended up shivering my way through the day. This white blazer ended up being my lifesaver. I've never been so grateful to see polyester in my entire life.

The Strip
Crystals at City Center, near the Aria
Home to Prada, Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, Gucci, Balenciaga...

Zara white blazer
Ann Mashburn gingham 'Popover' shirt
Zara mint green cropped pants with zip
Pixie Market grey patent loafers
Celine micro luggage tote
Forever 21 white flower headband
Tom Ford 'Nikita' cat eye sunglasses
Bonjour Kitten hammered bands (coming soon!)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

review: joel roubouchon, las vegas

While I was in Las Vegas last week, I had the opportunity to dine at Joel Roubuchon located inside MGM Grand. For most, this restaurant needs no introduction. With three Michelin stars, it's become the definition of fine dining. The offerings are pricy with the cheapest course menu starting at $120 and going up to $435 for the 16 course degustation menu, excluding wine pairings which run from $299 to $999. Despite the mindblowing prices, the 17 table dining room is booked to capacity.


Because I'm not a pig  a lady, I opted for a four course menu that went as follows: La Langoustine, pea soup, Le Canard, La Fraise. Of course, in between I also got a smattering of items from the incredible bread cart, and at the end a selection of desserts from the even more incredible dessert cart.

Amuse bouche, cherry gazpacho with pistachios
La Langoustine - lobster ravioli with caviar
Pea soup
Le Canard - seared duck breast with foie gras with cherries
La Fraise - strawberry foam with a vanilla ice cream? 
Selections from the dessert cart
All in all, the meal was excellently prepared and plated. Everything about the dinner was truly enchanting, from the dining room to the service. It's truly a magical place where your taste bud's dreams come true, and all to a reality slapping halt when you get your bill. Thank you, Joel, for letting me feel like a gastronomical queen for a precious two hours.


Theyskens Theory 'Lara' maxi dress
Zara blazer
Chloe 'Kirsten' wedges
Celine micro luggage tote
Forever 21 white flower headband

food photos taken with Samsung Galaxy S2; others with Nikon D7000