Oct 25

Bread Pudding

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We had delicious cheese fondue at home over the weekend, and the leftover dipping bread had been taunting me. Now I’m normally quite skittish about baking. Considering how clumsy I am, shoving my arms into a fire-lit furnace without supervision isn’t the best idea. But as every student knows, the best time to clean your room, organize your closet or make bread pudding is when you have a big paper due. And guess what – my field research paper on flea markets is due this week. So, I give you what turned out to be the most mouthwatering bread pudding ever.

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Oct 21

Hit or Miss: Designer – Chain Store Collaborations

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Everyone seems to be talking about the Versace for H&M collection, the photos of which were released yesterday (click the image above to see the full collection on Fashionista.com). It is Versace after all, and the lower prices make the pieces that much more attractive. However, I think the fact that only limited H&M stores will stock the collection for a limited time defeats the goal of accessibility. After what happened with Missoni for Target, do you think such designer collaborations really make high fashion accessible to the general public? Would you stand in line at the crack of dawn to score one of these items?

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Oct 19

Vested Interest

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I spent a lot of time last week trying to justify having a fur (or faux fur) vest in my wardrobe – specifically, a droolworthy one that was on ideeli. Unfortunately, rationality won and I passed up the vest. After all, spending four days a week in class isn’t exactly a lifestyle that requires a fur vest. But I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. A fur vest is the perfect way to instantly turn up the fashion octave on the simplest of jeans-and-T-shirt outfits. Here are six that caught my eye. Whether you prefer a luxe version like #4 or the more streamlined look of #1, this is one piece that will get you noticed. And in a good way – as long as your faux fur doesn’t look like roadkill.

1. Adrienne Landau brown leopard print rabbit fur vest

2. Jessica Simpson faux fur vest

3. Cassin faux fur vest

4. MICHAEL Michael Kors faux fur vest

5. Zara fur waistcoat

6. YesStyle Robein faux fur vest with faux leather sash

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Oct 17

Winter Sparkle

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Forever 21 dress and sweater, Munro American boots

Ever since I wore my sequin dress with a sweater layered over it for an event back in June, I had been itching to try another variation on that theme. So when I got invited to a birthday party on Saturday night, this is the look I crafted.

I love the little details in this outfit, like the gold belt and the neckline of the dress peeking ever so slightly through the sweater.

In the end, Elevate lounge was too much of a wannabe hangout for me, but at least my outfit kept me warm and cozy.

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Oct 13

Paisley Pulchritude

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I bought this Trina Turk dress for a special occasion last year, and though it’s a versatile piece, it had been a while since I last wore it. It had been calling out to me from inside my closet all week, and if you’ve been following my Pose feed, you know that I was looking for ways to dress it down.

Trina Turk dress, H&M men's shirt, ROMWE shoes, Zara bag, Kokommo necklace

This is the look I finally settled on after some deliberation. It had a fun, quirky vibe to it while still being chic. Best of all, it was comfortable to wear in the crazy heat wave paying us its annual October visit.

In other news, I wanted to give a shout-out to Jeanea of 2 broke L.A. girls for including me on their list of recommended blogs. They have a pretty fun and eclectic blog themselves, and it’s nice of them to share the love.

With that, I’m wrapping up another week, which incidentally marks the halfway point in my first semester of graduate studies. It’s a little hard to believe, but certainly gratifying.

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Oct 11

Field Find

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When I heard that we had to conduct field research for a class, I chose to do mine on flea markets. Because who says you can’t study and have fun at the same time?

So, a couple of weekends ago I spent my Sunday at Melrose Trading Post, followed by the Rose Bowl Flea Market this weekend. Sadly, Melrose Trading Post was quite a disappointment. It was more a scene for young hipsters to be able to say they shop vintage than a marketplace to score great finds at bargain prices.

Rose Bowl Flea Market, however, has been a source of immense fascination for me from the first time I set foot there a few years ago. It never disappoints, and this trip was no exception. I came back with some fantastic pieces both for myself and for the house, not to mention, pages full of research notes.

This gorgeous red cheongsam is one of those pieces. I still can’t get over its $5 price, considering how breathtakingly pretty it is. I’m loving the deep, rich red color with the intricately embroidered motifs and the way the fabric gives off a warm sheen when it catches the light.

I’m not sure where I plan to wear this yet. I’m toying with the idea of taking it to my tailor and having him close part of the slit and turn it into a pencil skirt. Anyhow, I’m happy just staring at it for now.

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Oct 7

Fashion Books, Anyone?

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Fashion (Oxford History of Art)

For the last few years, I’ve been wanting to gain formal knowledge about fashion, particularly, fashion history. Now that I’m back in school and my brain is in academic mode, I thought I would audit a fashion history class. But sadly, there are no fashion classes offered at my university.

The Complete History of Costume & Fashion: From Ancient Egypt to the Present Day

So I’m thinking of buckling down and reading a book on my own instead – a self-learning project that goes beyond spending 15 minutes on Wikipedia. Here are the books that I have found interesting and comprehensive based on their online descriptions so far (click to see details).

Costume and Fashion: A Concise History (World of Art)

I’d like to choose just one of these, and am not sure which. Does anyone know which of these would be best? Any other books I should consider?

Fashion (Taschen 25th Anniversary)

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Oct 5

Rain Boots

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It’s been raining in the LA area for the last couple of days. I never thought I would miss the madness of the monsoons, but after living on the parched west coast, I miss rain and everything that goes with rainy days. For me, that includes sipping something hot, like a steaming cup of chai or mulled wine, listening to the patter of raindrops, and reading a good book. And when I have to step outside, it means donning my dav English lace rain boots (pictured in my Pose feed).

So when it started drizzling yesterday, I was thrilled to wear my rain boots to class. It had been almost a year since I had last used them, but they still looked great and did a fantastic job keeping my feet dry. I got several compliments on them, so I decided to pick out some other lovely pairs for my lovely readers. Happy rainy days!

 

1. Hunter Champery in Eggplant

2. Kamik Gwyneth in Black

3. See by Chloé SB13040

4. kate spade new york Randi Too

5. dav English in Solid Grey

6. DC Chelsea in Black/Pirate Black

7. Chooka Signature Stripe

8. kate spade new york Randi

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Oct 3

Venice Canals

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MNG by Mango pants, Express blouse, Nine West shoes

I had walked over one of the canals at Venice many years ago, when I was rushing to get someplace else. At the time, I had no idea that there was an entire district covered with these beautiful waterways. This time, we paid a deliberate visit to the canals and were struck by how peaceful and tourist-free the area was. It’s now become one of my favorite LA spots.

In honor of October 2nd, my hair was evidently participating in a non-cooperation movement. Some people have naturally straight hair, others have naturally curly. Mine is naturally ugly, thanks to the Indian DNA. My hair has been euphemistically called wavy at times, but I can’t be that generous. Raging tsunami is a more fitting metaphor than waves. It takes a carefully orchestrated regimen of blow drying followed by sleeping on it for a night followed by flat ironing punctuated by a couple of different products to tame what I have going on. (This is one of the main reasons I steer clear of regular exercise – who’s going to do the hair afterwards?) And on some days, I just can’t be bothered with it all. This was one of those days.

I tied two very loose and messy pigtails in order to control the rabid poodle on my head. I ended up rather liking the look, so you might just see more of it. I also like how the messy hair countered the preppy look of my outfit.

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Sep 29

Burger Without a Grill

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Since I started cooking more at home, I have realized that the one food I miss most is hamburgers. We had a sizable porch in the old house, where I had meant to put a grill. But we never got around to it. Now in the new house, there is no outdoor space. That left me without the option to grill my own burgers, and quite disappointed.

But as always, Google came to the rescue. As it turns out, it’s possible to make a hamburger—and a rather tasty one at that—without a grill. Here’s how.

Prepare your patty as usual. Then heat a regular pan on the stovetop until it gets very hot. I leave the heat on the maximum setting for 2-3 minutes. Use just about a drop of cooking oil to prevent sticking. When the pan is ready, sear your patty. Vary the searing time depending on how well done you want the meat. I like mine medium-well, so I seared the patty for about 2 minutes on each side. Leave the heat on high to get a nice char on the burger. It will also give off the sweetish aroma of fresh-cooked beef.

Once you are done with the searing, put the patty in the oven at 350F. This will cook the meat all the way through. Once again, the time will vary depending on how well done you want your burger. I left mine in there for 6-7 minutes.

That’s it! Your fresh and juicy hamburger is ready to be devoured. Mine came out so delicious, I’ve already made it twice this week. And another go-around might be in the offing before the end of the week. Evidently, gluttony doesn’t require a grill.

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