Heels & Soul



October 2014



Bag It Up: Elbow-Patch Pullovers!

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1. Burberry Brit 2. Maison Martin Margiela 3. Patterson J Kincaid 4. J. Crew 5. H&M 6. Dor L’Odor 7. Love Moschino 8. Maxmara 9. ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo

As promised, here are some of my favorite elbow patch sweater picks for the week! I love the yellow Love Moschino sweater because of its adorable patterned heart elbow patches. A pop of color really goes a long way when the days get greyer and greyer. I always do bright colors for the winter because if the sun’s not out, at least you can be a ray of neon sunshine. There’s this theory I have that good weather is highly correlated to happier dispositions!

♬ ✩ SZA – Ice Moon ♬ ✩

If you’re not looking for a splurge, H&M has a selection of four affordable elbow patch sweaters that are more tailored to the wallets of those in their 20′s. I’m also a huge fan of Maison Martin Margiela‘s version of this sweater. Paired with some white jeans and a pair of riding boots, the colors are a perfect arrangement of autumn splash for the fall. Making an investment in finding a good sweater is worthwhile. Sweaters are such a comfortable piece of clothing, low-effort and easy to throw on in the morning. Having a few well-made sweaters that are easy for lazy days and pairing them with jeans or leggings is all you need to pull it together. May it be consigned, thrifted or from store to home, get your sweater game on.

Sweater weather is here!

Stay warm, stay comfy and stay styling!





October 2014



OUTFIT: Elbow Patches and Grey Sweaters

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❤ ♬ These Arms of Mine – Otis Redding ❤ ♬


WEAR FROM: Purse – Cynthia Rowley | Patterned Pants – H&M | Pearl Necklace – Anthropologie | Grey Sweater – Shades of Grey | Golden Sandals – Lucky Brand

I love sweaters with elbow patches. It’s a shame that they aren’t a staple in the design of women’s sweaters, otherwise I’d stock my closet full of elbow-patch sweaters: suede, sequins, leather, wool, silk, nylon. I must have seen the elbow-patch look come into closets about 4-5 years ago, and ever since, I’ve been on the hunt for women’s wear featuring this look, but there’s a limited selection available on the market compared to the huge availability in men’s design.

One of my best friends from high school, A., now lives in Boston, so I recently drove down to see him. Of course, his closet is stocked with heaps of sweaters that I want to scoop up and throw into my duffel bag. When coming back stateside this year, I spent only three hours packing and I only just realized that I had brought only ONE sweater with me back to Maine, which is slightly problematic because temperatures have dropped as quickly as the golden leaves falling from the trees this autumn. It’s been a crisp fall, and I found myself quickly scrambling to find sweaters to keep warm in. This grey sweater is from Shades of Grey (Micah Cohen) and I have loved it since the moment I set eyes on it two years ago. Year after year, I have begged A. to give it to me, and this time, I almost successfully hid it away in my duffel bag but he realized just as we were about to leave the house that I had stuffed his “favorite” sweater away and a hilarious chase around the house ensued. Next time, next time.

There are so many great ways to wear oversized sweaters. Men’s sweaters are gems. Most of the time, I prefer them over women’s wear. They’re comfortable, a little bit baggy, warm, and made out of durable materials. This week, I’ll be doing a feature on my favorite elbow-patch sweaters of this season. Depending on the fit, some are perfect to wear a collared shirt underneath. Others look great with infinity scarves and some are beautifully complemented by a statement necklace. The elbow-patch touch adds an extra touch of something unusual to a very standard design and cut.

Stock up! Winter’s coming around the bend.





October 2014



Flight Fridays: Get to Copenhagen, Reykjavik and London from only $99-125!

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It’s totally real. WOW Air  just launched its service from Iceland to the US and to celebrate, they’re offering some ridiculously generous prices from $99 each way from Boston to Reykjavik, London and Copenhagen. If that’s not a deal, then I don’t know what is!

The US site went live two days ago and within minutes, flights were available from $99. I’ve got to say, these WOW Air prices are definitely WOW-worthy. WOW Airlines is a low-budget Icelandic airline that’s been operating flights out of Reykjavik. When I traveled to Iceland, I went via Iceland Air but for the majority of my other Euro-hopping trips, I opted for low-budget flights through RyanAir and Easyjet. 20 pound flights became a norm and I would book flights on whim if I had an itch to see new sights. Honestly, how could I say no to traveling to Morocco for a mere $50 flight? How could I stay home and watch Netflix on the weekends when Norway was only $60 away? Living in London was such a joy and having it as my base made traveling part of my lifestyle. I’m 20, I’m young, I’m tied down by nothing and all I want to do is to see, feel, and know as much as I can in this life.

In a year’s time, I hope to be employed or to be working on my next project, so even though I may have the financial means to travel freely, time will be the constraint, so I’m going NOW. When there are opportunities to go, I’ll go. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. I think this is why careers that involve traveling and adapting into different spaces are so appealing to me. Curiosity is difficult to quench, and I hope the thirst remains all my life.

When I traveled to Iceland this past February, a few of my friends flew in by way of WOW Air and according to them, it was perfectly fine. Just beware of the catch: You’ll need to pay for luggage and this can add up! So although you can find a cheap flight, if you don’t pack light, you’ll need to pay up. Leave your heavy baggage at home! Bringing 26 pounds inbound and outbound costs nearly $78! If you don’t want to pay for luggage, you can bring a carry-on of up to 11 pounds for free!

WOW Air is flying from D.C. and Boston to:

-> Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF)

-> Copenhagen, Denmark (CPH)

-> London, England (LGW)London Gatwick is not as central as Heathrow, so you’ll need to take a bus to get into the city. There is no tube line from Gatwick to the city center of London.

ENJOY! Travel! See the world! Wander the world and you’ll still never cure yourself of wanderlust. It’s a life long love affair.


I just bought a flight to Copenhagen for spring break next year. By then, I’ll be done with thesis and I think a quick sojourn to Europe would be a well-deserved reward right before walking on the stage to begin a new chapter and to close a well-enjoyed one.





October 2014



OUTFIT: I Am Not a Morning Person

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❤ ♬ How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep – Bombay Bicycle Club ❤ ♬


WEAR FROM: Sweater – Zara | Loose Flowing Pants - H&M | Purse – Cynthia Rowley | Earrings – Amrita Singh | Heeled Boots – Burberry

I’ve just come back from a great few days in Boston, where I was able to unwind amidst city lights, late night dives and lots of lovely, lovely people. Boston has always been a major lifeline for me over these past four years, because knowing that I’d be guaranteed to be back in a city every month or so offered some solace when the small liberal arts college vibe started to wear on me. Don’t get me wrong – Maine is lovely in all its natural splendor but I definitely need to be somewhere urban and happening after my time and dues in college are through and paid. As someone who loves the night, cities just naturally appeal to me. There are places to go, friends to see, things to do, and plenty of options for late-night hunger pangs, which I have far too often.

It’s true, I’m not a morning person unless you’re referring to the early hours of the morning where I’m still sending out emails, talking to friends, or doing some reading. I found this sweater while accidentally stumbling into Zara Kids. Zara Kids is tailored for a very trendy child whose parents want to channel a mix of poshy meets trendsetting. I was amused by how small we all begin. Have you ever taken a good look at children’s shoes? They are so tiny and petite! All the people you know in your life – from the smallest to the largest – all began as tiny, precious beings. I probably spent far too much time analyzing the trends, styles and designs in this section because I discovered a sweater that said, “I am not a morning person” and I knew I had to have it, but what are the odds that I’d fit into something in the kids section? I loved the sparkly sequined elbow patches and I just found the wording on the shirt to be so fabulous that when I discovered that they carried my size, the sweater was mine. I suppose its the advantage of being a 5’2 Asian girl?

This trip to Boston was full of visits, old friends, new friends and friends from London who had moved back stateside. As usual, I made a trip to Cambridge, where my firstborn child will definitely go to school at. There were plenty of Korean food nights, fall shopping trips and spontaneity was the theme of the weekend. N., A. and I were sitting at the Union Cafe when A. mentioned that Bombay Bicycle Club was playing in Boston that very night. On the spot, he made an impromptu decision to buy the tickets and we headed over for a few hours of great music and flashing lights all wrapped up by some Fenway Stadium hot dogs and N’s house gathering.

Boston is a wonderful city that is easy to call home. There’s plenty to do and it has a homey charm to it and a slower pace than New York. Driving back to Maine and arriving back on campus to a quad full of fallen leaves was a beautiful sight to behold. Autumn in New England is unrivaled.





October 2014



OUTFIT: Black And Gold

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I think I was meant to live along the warm coastline of California, where the weather is golden and one can actually have a permanent tan all year long from the warm sun. Now that this is the final push to graduation, San Francisco is edging its way to one of my top five preferred future homes for the future. I have a few friends who tell me to let the job take me to new places, but I’ve come to know myself well enough to say that I’d rather call home a livable city where there is access to nature and a cosmopolitan backdrop. Growing up in Vancouver, no place is quite home unless there is a vast expanse of green somewhere. In London, I loved going to Hampstead Heath for walks in the late afternoon and to take a dip in the rather murky women’s pond on warm days. It’s a way of life that has been lost in cities. We’ve opted for chlorinated pools in lieu of ponds nestled amongst trees in woods. There’s something distinctive about being in nature. May it be the stillness of being so far removed from modern society or the natural beauty of the world, there always seems to be something to appreciate. In many ways, making it to the golden sights of nature is similar to striving for a big picture outcome in life. You work your way up a mountain or through muddy terrain with the rain pouring down upon you because you know that at the end, there’s something unrivaled if only you continue to persevere.


Black & Gold – Sam Sparro



WEAR FROM: Dress – Kersh | White Wedges – BCBG | Necklace – MEXX | Earrings – Kate Spade | Watch – RADO




October 2014



Tuesday Thoughts: Our Greatest Experiences Are Our Quietest Moments

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I’ll be starting a Tuesday Thoughts series every Tuesday as a point of reflection and introspection during the week.

This week’s quote is from Nietzsche – who isn’t a philosopher that I would immediately jump to when thinking about meditation and learning how to be alone in quiet spaces, but these are his words.

As someone who has traditionally been viewed as an extrovert, people who know me on the most intimate levels (the number can always be counted on one hand at any given time) are surprised to discover that I teeter right on the extrovert-introvert line. These days, it’s what people have termed being an “ambivert,” someone who embodies both personality characteristics on the spectrum. Forbes had a neat article about ambiverts last year. There are moments when I can turn the charm on and spend days talking to people and groups, but there are also days where I simply am happy and content to turn on Netflix and to grab a pint of Häagen Dazs to kick back by myself. On those nights, the appeal of going out to see anyone or leaving my home is simply not there. With age, I’m finding that I’m actually more comfortable being alone – happily so. It’s quite difficult to actually have people understand this negotiation of being in between two different states of movements. How can someone be so social in one moment and a hermit crab in the next? But, upon reflection, I know I have been like this all my life despite always being put in a more public, extroverted role. So, I’ve accepted this about myself and am embracing it.

Why we are the way we are is fascinating. When I was living in London, one of my friends who is majoring in Psychology explained the introvert-extrovert dynamic to me. According to what he studied, extroverts are outgoing, gregarious and social because their brains are in need of stimulation, which they get from feeding off the energy and interactions amongst groups of people. Introverts already have a high level of natural stimulation, so they don’t feel the need to receive as much external stimulation which is why they are more comfortable with smaller group interactions and one-on-one conversations.

I am discussing the introvert-extrovert framework because it’s important to consider when thinking about when we want to be alone, when we need to be alone, and how to be alone. People always comment when I am notably absent from the public sphere because it is something that is expected of me – to be visible and present. However, I’ve made it a point as I’ve grown older to simply do what I need to do in the moment by ignoring all the white noise and routine worries. If I need some time to think, I’ll sit down and think. This year, I’ve been taking September as a a month off to be introspective about the phenomenal experiences that I’ve had over the past 9 months and the past 3 years. This is the first time in 9 months that I have been back in North America for a more stable and predictable amount of time. I can’t just go back to my life the way it was because I’m not the same person anymore although the core remains very much the same. I can actually truly say that I am comfortable being alone because I’ve learned how to seek my fulfillment and validation within myself and things that I have control over.

Things that I have found to really make a difference in reaching the goal of doing what you want without the background noise:

1) Meditation. Take some time daily to just quiet your mind. You would be surprised to learn how much your brain is actually ON all the time. Sometimes this is all it takes to quell those moments of doubt or to get over a mental block.

2) Not giving a (#$%. In life, regardless of what you are doing, people will have something to say about it – negative and positive. People will offer you unsolicited advice and advice when you need it. There will always be critics, people who don’t like the way you do things, people who don’t support you, people who think your ideas are unrealistic and people who find reasons to dislike you for no apparent reason. To all of this, I say, “Don’t give a $%(#!” At the end of the day, you are going to have to silence the white, background noise when you have to make important decisions regarding YOUR life. Don’t let society or others constrain you by formulating standards for what you think you should be doing or what you think people are expecting from you. Oftentimes, you will be your worst critic and your greatest obstacle. You wake up to yourself and your mind every morning. There is no one else who is inside your head and who wakes up to the choices you make other than you. Make the time between you and your mind worthwhile.

3) Get out of your space, especially comfortable spaces, every once in awhile. For example, here at Bates, we tend to be in a bubble. Talk to a friend with a car, plan something out and go!

4) Learn how to be alone. I cannot stress how important this one is. I have become so much better at this over these past four years, and learning how to be content being alone is a lifelong process, but once you are comfortable thinking on your own, learning how to be on your own and just being in the state of being alone, I honestly think you will be less likely to make decisions that aren’t well thought out. Oftentimes, people gravitate towards the wrong causes or people because it’s the cop-out concept of “I’d rather be with X rather than to be alone.”

Some of your greatest moments will be your quietest ones. When I was watching the Northern Lights at 2AM surrounded by mountains in Iceland, it was a quiet awe that I felt seeing the streaks of color dancing in the sky. In Morocco, I sat sipping an overly sugary mint tea as the only woman in a hidden café nestled on a roof as the sentimental strums of guitar drifted down to the maze of souks below. Sometimes, there are moments of kindness that only I and one other person will know of. There are moments of vulnerability and overcoming that only I know of. For me, the quiet is not only in the sense of the ambiance and atmosphere. The greatest experiences in my life are oftentimes my most quietest moments because they are so deeply personal that it would be a bit of a disservice to attempt to explain them or to publicly share such a specific moment of magic in time. I couldn’t recreate the alignment of circumstance and situation again and even if I were to retell it as a storyteller, the profound feelings would only be understood by being there. Being present.

Have a great week!






September 2014



Apple-Picking and Frolicking in Maine

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This will probably be my last year living in Maine for some time. My roommate and I have always discussed the possibility buying a cabin here at some later point in our lives as one of my professors recently did when her twin sons decided to pursue public education instead of our heftily priced private liberal arts tuition. Maine is a beautiful state and I wish that I had only appreciated its candid splendor and nature at an earlier time. However, like all things in life, the only way is to look forward and to correct those mistakes so I’ve made it a conscious goal to spend more time outdoors and to use my weekends to soak in as much sun as possible before the skies become a semi-permanent grey.

Since the founding of the Asian-American Students’ In Action (AASIA) group at Bates College, we’ve been taking students and members apple-picking at the Wallingfords Orchard as an annual fall trip. Truly, few things capture the transition into fall as well as well as being on an orchard. It’s a place of concerted nature, so there are an abundance of colors and change in preparation for harvest and the opportunity to enjoy the last few days outdoors in shorts, flip flops and tank tops. In my life, I have always somewhat taken for granted the four distinct changes in seasons. I always appreciated the explosion of popcorn on trees that is otherwise known as a lovely Vancouver spring when my neighborhood is lined with Japanese cherry blossoms. Summer was always too short in the climates that I’ve lived in, but that’s why summer evokes such a nostalgia in people. It’s a fleeting season in this part of the world, but it is probably one where people come together and relax the most. Good weather often equates to good dispositions (in my opinion). Autumn was full of leaf-raking in my house and combined with the notorious Vancouver rain, it wouldn’t be uncommon to see orange maple leafs tracked onto the floors of schools and stores. I never truly understood what a bitter winter was until I came to Maine. In Vancouver, we rarely ever got snow, but I never minded this because my friends and family would always go up to Whistler to ski, which meant that we selectively chose when we wanted to be in snow and that we didn’t have to deal with the consequences of it in our backyard. To me, the four seasons that I have experienced yearly in life are how I measure and indicate change and growth, but when members from Las Vegas and Seoul said that they had never been on a farm before or gone apple-picking, I was quite surprised because my childhood was riddled with fruit-picking. Even though I will try to choose somewhere much warmer than Maine after I graduate from Bates this year, there’s something to be said about the beauty of each season. For now, I’m feeling that 21 years of winter has been enough for a temporary hiatus!

Enjoy some photographs!




Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It – STARS









September 2014



OUTFIT: September Blues

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 ❤ ♬ Sweater Weather – The Neighbourhood ❤ ♬



WEAR FROM: Fringed Skirt – Zara | Embroidered Shirt – Picked up in a Saigon Market | Fringed Flower Knit Vest – Kersh | Brown Leather Heels – Burberry | Knit Knapsack – Gift from Sapa, Vietnam

I’m back in the United States now in the good ol’ state of Maine. The weekends have been spent bridge-jumping and apple-picking in clean, fresh air. I forgot how pleasant it was to have smog-free oxygen devoid of much pollution. Maine is a great state and I would not be opposed to building or buying a cabin here at one point. Sunsets here are a brilliant pink tinged with swatches of orange. Not to mention, I have missed seeing stretches of stars at night. There were only a couple of nights in London where I could look up in the sky and see anything twinkling. Santorini in Greece was still far too bright to see much in the sky, and while we were there, a torrential downpour of rain came cascading down and all I remember was trying to wait it out in the restaurant we were eating at. After an hour’s wait and a paid bill, we decided just to go for it and it was a mad 10-minute dash up the pebbled alleyway back to our house. Water was everywhere. Since the restaurant was at the bottom of the hill, by the time we ran up to the top, our feet were soaked through. It was like running through a heavy stream.

I’m living in this great big house with two friends, and there is probably far too much space for us to use, but it’s nice to have a place of solace and I’ve become a bit of a hermit during these past few weeks because the weather has become nippier at night and few things are better than lighting a candle and enjoying some conversation with friends. I’ve been so busy these past few days trying to figure out what the plans are for the following day and the following year. It’s a semester full of commitments, but I’ll come through as always! I’ll be restarting this blog in all due time!

Stay tuned.





September 2014



Film Photographs: Morocco

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I’m back in the United States now and I just stumbled on an old link to my film photographs from Morocco that I never got around to uploading until now! Near the end of my Vietnam trip, my Yashica film camera started to act up so despite having stacks of Kodak film in my room, I haven’t had the chance to snap any film photos since coming back to North America.

Here in Maine, I’m trying to adopt the perspective of enjoying all the warm sun and nature before the bitter cold settles. I realize that there is so much to this state that I have yet to explore before leaving in May. I haven’t seen a lighthouse yet nor have I seen all the phenomenal nature that gives Maine its affectionate title of Vacationland. This past weekend, I tried to remedy that by heading out to Nezinscot Farm in Turner where my roommate ordered a gigantic waffle and I happily wolfed down some chocolate chip pancakes topped with the freshest whipped cream I have ever tasted. What a dream! I can’t go back to canned whip cream after having a taste of the other side. The farm to table concept of eating is fascinating and better for our environment. Frankly, everything tasted better! After stuffing ourselves, we headed to Turner bridge to do some bridge jumping and swimming.

♬ ✩ In My Life – The Beatles ♬ ✩

I am absolutely terrified of heights, but of course it was my idea to go jump off a bridge for fun. I was once on a cable car in London and had a panic attack when we reached the highest peak, so once my toes were over the edge on that bridge, I could already feel my heart pounding right out of my chest. Thankfully, two of my friends held my hand and when we reached “GO!” the momentum of their jump also propelled me forward so I flew straight into the water. Needless to say, once was enough for me but perhaps next time I’ll overcome my fear of falling and take the plunge once more.





















August 2014



Travel: Baby Went Down to Amsterdam

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I miss Europe. I definitely have to move back to London permanently in the next little while.

Amsterdam was one of my earlier trips outside of England. D., C., S. and I took a red eye bus from London-Amsterdam that was full of a series of unfortunate events. Both of our buses were involved in car accidents, but we eventually made it out to the streets of Amsterdam, bright and early, after a night of limited sleep on the bus. With our matted hair, unbrushed teeth and wrinkled clothes, we immediately walked over to the Anne Frank Museum, where we lined up for nearly 40 minutes.

I remember reading all of Anne Frank’s works and diary as a child. It was staple elementary-aged reading material and I still have her books on my shelf today. If you plan to go to the Anne Frank Museum, plan ahead, because everyone who comes to Amsterdam who has read Anne’s diary wants to take a look at the house that held the Frank family during Nazi occupation in World War II. You will wait for awhile. Seeing the cramped quarters, the bookcase that hid the door to their hidden home and the windows that were once discreetly covered was so surreal. It was an emotionally-charged experience for many people visiting because there were so many undertones to the experience. I hear that visiting Auschwitz in Poland also evokes the same eerie and sorrowful feelings. It’s not so strange to feel such a deep empathy. If we didn’t remind ourselves that events like this have come and pass, initiated by other humans, then we will let history repeat itself.

Amsterdam is always a popular tourist destinations for westerners. It’s a mythical place where one can ride flower-laced bikes parallel to the the lovely canals and where the nightlife thrives until the morning and  weed is readily accessible at coffeeshops. I personally was too exhausted from the tiring commute and the hours of walking during the day, so on all the nights in Amsterdam, our group had a very PG experience. We lived rather close to the red light district, which was a bit of a damper. One night, D., S. and I went out for a walk to see the notorious area, and it was entirely depressing. I understand that the premise of the red light district is allegedly a liberating one where agency is supposed to be a strong theme. However, as women, S. and I felt so uncomfortable walking through those streets at night. If D. wasn’t accompanying us, the leers and glances would have felt threatening more so than menacing. It was essentially such a meat market, and to hear some of the things that those men were saying outside of the glass windows was a bit nauseating. That was enough to turn us off of Amsterdam by night.

Overall, Amsterdam by day is such a charming city. It would be a nice place to write books.



















 ♫ ♬  Peter, Bjorn & John – Amsterdam  ♫ ♬